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1.
Small Methods ; 6(11): e2200880, 2022 Nov.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36250995

RESUMO

Ruddlesden-Popper oxides (A2 BO4 ) have attracted significant attention regarding their potential application in novel electronic and energy devices. However, practical uses of A2 BO4 thin films have been limited by extended defects such as out-of-phase boundaries (OPBs). OPBs disrupt the layered structure of A2 BO4 , which restricts functionality. OPBs are ubiquitous in A2 BO4 thin films but inhomogeneous interfaces make them difficult to suppress. Here, OPBs in A2 BO4 thin films are suppressed using a novel method to control the substrate surface termination. To demonstrate the technique, epitaxial thin films of cuprate superconductor La2- x Srx CuO4 (x = 0.15) are grown on surface-reconstructed LaSrAlO4 substrates, which are terminated with self-limited perovskite double layers. To date, La2- x Srx CuO4 thin films are grown on LaSrAlO4 substrates with mixed-termination and exhibit multiple interfacial structures resulting in many OPBs. In contrast, La2- x Srx CuO4 thin films grown on surface-reconstructed LaSrAlO4 substrates energetically favor only one interfacial structure, thus inhibiting OPB formation. OPB-suppressed La2- x Srx CuO4 thin films exhibit significantly enhanced superconducting properties compared with OPB-containing La2- x Srx CuO4 thin films. Defect engineering in A2 BO4 thin films will allow for the elimination of various types of defects in other complex oxides and facilitate next-generation quantum device applications.

2.
Adv Mater ; 34(29): e2200639, 2022 Jul.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35580279

RESUMO

The physical properties of magnetic materials frequently depend not only on the microscopic spin and electronic structures, but also on the structures of mesoscopic length scales that emerge, for instance, from domain formations, or chemical and/or electronic phase separations. However, experimental access to such mesoscopic structures is currently limited, especially for antiferromagnets with net zero magnetization. Here, full-field microscopy and resonant magnetic X-ray diffraction are combined to visualize antiferromagnetic (AF) domains of the spin-orbit Mott insulator Sr2 IrO4 with area over ≈0.1 mm2 and with spatial resolution as high as ≈150 nm. With the unprecedented wide field of views and high spatial resolution, an intertwining of two AF domains on a length comparable to the measured average AF domain wall width of 545 nm is revealed. This mesoscopic structure comprises a substantial portion of the sample surface, and thus can result in a macroscopic response unexpected from its microscopic magnetic structure. In particular, the symmetry analysis presented in this work shows that the inversion symmetry, which is preserved by the microscopic AF order, becomes ill-defined at the mesoscopic length scale. This result underscores the importance of this novel technique for a thorough understanding of the physical properties of antiferromagnets.

3.
Nat Mater ; 21(6): 612-613, 2022 Jun.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35641560
4.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces ; 13(45): 54466-54475, 2021 Nov 17.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34739229

RESUMO

Understanding metal-to-insulator phase transitions in solids has been a keystone not only for discovering novel physical phenomena in condensed matter physics but also for achieving scientific breakthroughs in materials science. In this work, we demonstrate that the transport properties (i.e., resistivity and transition temperature) in the metal-to-insulator transitions of perovskite nickelates are tunable via the epitaxial heterojunctions of LaNiO3 and NdNiO3 thin films. A mismatch in the oxygen coordination environment and interfacial octahedral coupling at the oxide heterointerface allows us to realize an exotic phase that is unattainable in the parent compound. With oxygen vacancy formation for strain accommodation, the topmost LaNiO3 layer in LaNiO3/NdNiO3 bilayer thin films is structurally engineered and it electrically undergoes a metal-to-insulator transition that does not appear in metallic LaNiO3. Modification of the NdNiO3 template layer thickness provides an additional knob for tailoring the tilting angles of corner-connected NiO6 octahedra and the linked transport characteristics further. Our approaches can be harnessed to tune physical properties in complex oxides and to realize exotic physical phenomena through oxide thin-film heterostructuring.

5.
Adv Mater ; 33(25): e2008528, 2021 Jun.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33988861

RESUMO

Correlated topological phases (CTPs) with interplay between topology and electronic correlations have attracted tremendous interest in condensed matter physics. Therein, correlated Weyl semimetals (WSMs) are rare in nature and, thus, have so far been less investigated experimentally. In particular, the experimental realization of the interacting WSM state with logarithmic Fermi velocity renormalization has not been achieved yet. Here, experimental evidence of a correlated magnetic WSM state with logarithmic renormalization in strained pyrochlore iridate Pr2 Ir2 O7 (PIO) which is a paramagnetic Luttinger semimetal in bulk, is reported. Benefitting from epitaxial strain, "bulk-absent" all-in-all-out antiferromagnetic ordering can be stabilized in PIO film, which breaks time-reversal symmetry and leads to a magnetic WSM state. With further analysis of the experimental data and renormalization group calculations, an interacting Weyl liquid state with logarithmically renormalized Fermi velocity, similar to that in graphene, is found, dressed by long-range Coulomb interactions. This work highlights the interplay of strain, magnetism, and topology with electronic correlations, and paves the way for strain-engineering of CTPs in pyrochlore iridates.

6.
Nano Lett ; 21(10): 4185-4192, 2021 May 26.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33979525

RESUMO

Ruddlesden-Popper (RP) phases (An+1BnO3n+1, n = 1, 2,···) have attracted intensive research with diverse functionalities for device applications. However, the realization of a high-quality RP-phase film is hindered by the formation of out-of-phase boundaries (OPBs) that occur at terrace edges, originating from lattice mismatch in the c-axis direction with the A'B'O3 (n = ∞) substrate. Here, using strontium ruthenate RP-phase Sr2RuO4 (n = 1) as a model system, an experimental approach for suppressing OPBs was developed. By tuning the growth parameters, the Sr3Ru2O7 (n = 2) phase was formed in a controlled manner near the film-substrate interface. This higher-order RP-phase then blocked the subsequent formation of OPBs, resulting in nearly defect-free Sr2RuO4 layer at the upper region of the film. Consequently, the Sr2RuO4 thin films exhibited superconductivity up to 1.15 K, which is the highest among Sr2RuO4 films grown by pulsed laser deposition. This work paves the way for synthesizing pristine RP-phase heterostructures and exploring their unique physical properties.

7.
Nat Commun ; 8(1): 782, 2017 10 04.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28978909

RESUMO

Strong spin-orbit coupling lifts the degeneracy of t 2g orbitals in 5d transition-metal systems, leaving a Kramers doublet and quartet with effective angular momentum of J eff = 1/2 and 3/2, respectively. These spin-orbit entangled states can host exotic quantum phases such as topological Mott state, unconventional superconductivity, and quantum spin liquid. The lacunar spinel GaTa4Se8 was theoretically predicted to form the molecular J eff = 3/2 ground state. Experimental verification of its existence is an important first step to exploring the consequences of the J eff = 3/2 state. Here, we report direct experimental evidence of the J eff = 3/2 state in GaTa4Se8 by means of excitation spectra of resonant inelastic X-ray scattering at the Ta L3 and L2 edges. We find that the excitations involving the J eff = 1/2 molecular orbital are absent only at the Ta L2 edge, manifesting the realization of the molecular J eff = 3/2 ground state in GaTa4Se8.The strong interaction between electron spin and orbital degrees of freedom in 5d oxides can lead to exotic electronic ground states. Here the authors use resonant inelastic X-ray scattering to demonstrate that the theoretically proposed J eff = 3/2 state is realised in GaTa4Se8.

8.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces ; 9(32): 27305-27312, 2017 Aug 16.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28731326

RESUMO

With recent trends on miniaturizing oxide-based devices, the need for atomic-scale control of surface/interface structures by pulsed laser deposition (PLD) has increased. In particular, realizing uniform atomic termination at the surface/interface is highly desirable. However, a lack of understanding on the surface formation mechanism in PLD has limited a deliberate control of surface/interface atomic stacking sequences. Here, taking the prototypical SrRuO3/BaTiO3/SrRuO3 (SRO/BTO/SRO) heterostructure as a model system, we investigated the formation of different interfacial termination sequences (BaO-RuO2 or TiO2-SrO) with oxygen partial pressure (PO2) during PLD. We found that a uniform SrO-TiO2 termination sequence at the SRO/BTO interface can be achieved by lowering the PO2 to 5 mTorr, regardless of the total background gas pressure (Ptotal), growth mode, or growth rate. Our results indicate that the thermodynamic stability of the BTO surface at the low-energy kinetics stage of PLD can play an important role in surface/interface termination formation. This work paves the way for realizing termination engineering in functional oxide heterostructures.

9.
Adv Mater ; 29(19)2017 May.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28256752

RESUMO

The atomic-scale synthesis of artificial oxide heterostructures offers new opportunities to create novel states that do not occur in nature. The main challenge related to synthesizing these structures is obtaining atomically sharp interfaces with designed termination sequences. In this study, it is demonstrated that the oxygen pressure (PO2) during growth plays an important role in controlling the interfacial terminations of SrRuO3 /BaTiO3 /SrRuO3 (SRO/BTO/SRO) ferroelectric (FE) capacitors. The SRO/BTO/SRO heterostructures are grown by a pulsed laser deposition method. The top SRO/BTO interface, grown at high PO2 (around 150 mTorr), usually exhibits a mixture of RuO2 -BaO and SrO-TiO2 terminations. By reducing PO2, the authors obtain atomically sharp SRO/BTO top interfaces with uniform SrO-TiO2 termination. Using capacitor devices with symmetric and uniform interfacial termination, it is demonstrated for the first time that the FE critical thickness can reach the theoretical limit of 3.5 unit cells.

10.
Adv Mater ; 29(1)2017 Jan.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27786379

RESUMO

Dimensional tunability from two dimensions to one dimension is demonstrated for the first time using an artificial superlattice method in synthesizing 1D stripes from 2D layered materials. The 1D confinement of layered Sr2 IrO4 induces distinct 1D quantum-confined electronic states, as observed from optical spectroscopy and resonant inelastic X-ray scattering. This 1D superlattice approach is generalizable to a wide range of layered materials.

11.
Faraday Discuss ; 176: 125-33, 2014.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25490237

RESUMO

Understanding the functional links between the stability and reactivity of oxide materials during the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) is one key to enabling a vibrant hydrogen economy capable of competing with fossil fuel-based technologies. In this work, by focusing on the surface chemistry of monometallic Ru oxide in acidic and alkaline environments, we found that the kinetics of the OER are almost entirely controlled by the stability of the Ru surface atoms. The same activity-stability relationship was found for more complex, polycrystalline and single-crystalline SrRuO(3) thin films in alkaline solutions. We propose that the electrochemical transformation of either water (acidic solutions) or hydroxyl ions (alkaline solutions) to di-oxygen molecules takes place at defect sites that are inherently present on every electrode surface. During the OER, surface defects are also created by the corrosion of the Ru ions. The dissolution is triggered by the potential-dependent change in the valence state (n) of Ru: from stable but inactive Ru(4+) to unstable but active Ru(n>4+). We conclude that if the oxide is stable then it is completely inactive for the OER. A practical consequence is that the best materials for the OER should balance stability and activity in such a way that the dissolution rate of the oxide is neither too fast nor too slow.

12.
Angew Chem Int Ed Engl ; 53(51): 14016-21, 2014 Dec 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25297010

RESUMO

The methods used to improve catalytic activity are well-established, however elucidating the factors that simultaneously control activity and stability is still lacking, especially for oxygen evolution reaction (OER) catalysts. Here, by studying fundamental links between the activity and stability of well-characterized monometallic and bimetallic oxides, we found that there is generally an inverse relationship between activity and stability. To overcome this limitation, we developed a new synthesis strategy that is based on tuning the near-surface composition of Ru and Ir elements by surface segregation, thereby resulting in the formation of a nanosegregated domain that balances the stability and activity of surface atoms. We demonstrate that a Ru0.5Ir0.5 alloy synthesized by using this method exhibits four-times higher stability than the best Ru-Ir oxygen evolution reaction materials, while still preserving the same activity.

13.
Nat Commun ; 5: 4191, 2014 Jun 18.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24939393

RESUMO

In developing cost-effective complex oxide materials for the oxygen evolution reaction, it is critical to establish the missing links between structure and function at the atomic level. The fundamental and practical implications of the relationship on any oxide surface are prerequisite to the design of new stable and active materials. Here we report an intimate relationship between the stability and reactivity of oxide catalysts in exploring the reaction on strontium ruthenate single-crystal thin films in alkaline environments. We determine that for strontium ruthenate films with the same conductance, the degree of stability, decreasing in the order (001)>(110)>(111), is inversely proportional to the activity. Both stability and reactivity are governed by the potential-induced transformation of stable Ru(4+) to unstable Ru(n>4+). This ordered(Ru(4+))-to-disordered(Ru(n>4+)) transition and the development of active sites for the reaction are determined by a synergy between electronic and morphological effects.

14.
Nano Lett ; 14(5): 2694-701, 2014 May 14.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24734897

RESUMO

Complex oxides displaying ferroelectric and/or multiferroic behavior are of high fundamental and applied interest. In this work, we show that it is possible to achieve polar order in a superlattice made up of two nonpolar oxides by means of oxygen vacancy ordering. Using scanning transmission electron microscopy imaging, we show the polar displacement of magnetic Fe ions in a superlattice of (LaFeO3)2/(SrFeO3) grown on a SrTiO3 substrate. Using density functional theory calculations, we systematically study the effect of epitaxial strain, octahedral rotations, and surface terminations in the superlattice and find them to have a negligible effect on the antipolar displacements of the Fe ions lying in between SrO and LaO layers of the superlattice (i.e., within La0.5Sr0.5FeO3 unit cells). The introduction of oxygen vacancies, on the other hand, triggers a polar displacement of the Fe ions. We confirm this important result using electron energy loss spectroscopy, which shows partial oxygen vacancy ordering in the region where polar displacements are observed and an absence of vacancy ordering outside of that area.

15.
ACS Nano ; 8(2): 1584-9, 2014 Feb 25.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24417284

RESUMO

The interaction between X-rays and matter is an intriguing topic for both fundamental science and possible applications. In particular, synchrotron-based brilliant X-ray beams have been used as a powerful diagnostic tool to unveil nanoscale phenomena in functional materials. However, it has not been widely investigated how functional materials respond to the brilliant X-rays. Here, we report the X-ray-induced reversible resistance change in 40-nm-thick TiO2 films sandwiched by Pt top and bottom electrodes, and propose the physical mechanism behind the emergent phenomenon. Our findings indicate that there exists a photovoltaic-like effect, which modulates the resistance reversibly by a few orders of magnitude, depending on the intensity of impinging X-rays. We found that this effect, combined with the X-ray irradiation induced phase transition confirmed by transmission electron microscopy, triggers a nonvolatile reversible resistance change. Understanding X-ray-controlled reversible resistance changes can provide possibilities to control initial resistance states of functional materials, which could be useful for future information and energy storage devices.

16.
J Phys Chem Lett ; 5(14): 2474-8, 2014 Jul 17.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26277818

RESUMO

In the present study, we used a surface-science approach to establish a functional link between activity and stability of monometallic oxides during the OER in acidic media. We found that the most active oxides (Au ≪ Pt < Ir < Ru ≪ Os) are, in fact, the least stable (Au ≫ Pt > Ir > Ru ≫ Os) materials. We suggest that the relationships between stability and activity are controlled by both the nobility of oxides as well as by the density of surface defects. This functionality is governed by the nature of metal cations and the potential transformation of a stable metal cation with a valence state of n = +4 to unstable metal cation with n > +4. A practical consequence of such a close relationship between activity and stability is that the best materials for the OER should balance stability and activity in such a way that the dissolution rate is neither too fast nor too slow.

17.
Phys Rev Lett ; 110(24): 247202, 2013 Jun 14.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25165956

RESUMO

The temperature (T) dependence of the optical conductivity spectra σ(ω) of a single crystal SrRuO(3) thin film is studied over a T range from 5 to 450 K. We observed significant T dependence of the spectral weights of the charge transfer and interband d-d transitions across the ferromagnetic Curie temperature (T(c) ∼ 150 K). Such T dependence was attributed to the increase in the Ru spin moment, which is consistent with the results of density functional theory calculations. T scans of σ(Ω,T) at fixed frequencies Ω reveal a clear T(2) dependence below T(c), demonstrating that the Stoner mechanism is involved in the evolution of the electronic structure. In addition, σ(Ω,T) continues to evolve at temperatures above T(c), indicating that the local spin moment persists in the paramagnetic state. This suggests that SrRuO(3) is an intriguing oxide system with itinerant ferromagnetism.

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