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Light control of the nanoscale phase separation in heteroepitaxial nickelates

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevMaterials.2.085002 DOI Help

Authors: G. Mattoni (Delft University of Technology) , N. Manca (Delft University of Technology) , M. Hadjimichael (University College London (UCL)) , Pavlo Zubko (University College London) , A. J. H. Van Der Torren (Leiden University) , C. Yin (Leiden University) , S. Catalano (University of Geneva) , M. Gibert (University of Geneva) , F. Maccherozzi (Diamond Light Source) , Y. Liu (Diamond Light Source) , S. S. Dhesi (Diamond Light Source) , A. D. Caviglia (Delft University of Technology)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Physical Review Materials , VOL 2

State: Published (Approved)
Published: August 2018
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 13081 , 10428

Abstract: Strongly correlated materials show unique solid-state phase transitions with rich nanoscale phenomenology that can be controlled by external stimuli. Particularly interesting is the case of light–matter interaction in the proximity of the metal–insulator transition of heteroepitaxial nickelates. In this work, we use near-infrared laser light in the high-intensity excitation regime to manipulate the nanoscale phase separation in NdNiO3. By tuning the laser intensity, we can reproducibly set the coverage of insulating nanodomains, which we image by photoemission electron microscopy, thus semipermanently configuring the material state. With the aid of transport measurements and finite element simulations, we identify two different timescales of thermal dynamics in the light–matter interaction: a steady-state and a fast transient local heating. These results open interesting perspectives for locally manipulating and reconfiguring electronic order at the nanoscale by optical means.

Journal Keywords: Conductivity; Critical phenomena; First order phase transitions; Metal-insulator transition; Microphase separation; Nucleation; Surface-driven phase separation; Heterostructures; Single crystal materials; Strongly correlated systems; 4-terminal techniques

Subject Areas: Materials, Physics


Instruments: I06-Nanoscience