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Ultrathin oxide films and interfaces for electronics and spintronics

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Advances in Physics

Informa UK Limited

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      Metal-insulator transitions

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        Multiferroic and magnetoelectric materials.

        A ferroelectric crystal exhibits a stable and switchable electrical polarization that is manifested in the form of cooperative atomic displacements. A ferromagnetic crystal exhibits a stable and switchable magnetization that arises through the quantum mechanical phenomenon of exchange. There are very few 'multiferroic' materials that exhibit both of these properties, but the 'magnetoelectric' coupling of magnetic and electrical properties is a more general and widespread phenomenon. Although work in this area can be traced back to pioneering research in the 1950s and 1960s, there has been a recent resurgence of interest driven by long-term technological aspirations.
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          A high-mobility electron gas at the LaAlO3/SrTiO3 heterointerface.

          Polarity discontinuities at the interfaces between different crystalline materials (heterointerfaces) can lead to nontrivial local atomic and electronic structure, owing to the presence of dangling bonds and incomplete atomic coordinations. These discontinuities often arise in naturally layered oxide structures, such as the superconducting copper oxides and ferroelectric titanates, as well as in artificial thin film oxide heterostructures such as manganite tunnel junctions. If polarity discontinuities can be atomically controlled, unusual charge states that are inaccessible in bulk materials could be realized. Here we have examined a model interface between two insulating perovskite oxides--LaAlO3 and SrTiO3--in which we control the termination layer at the interface on an atomic scale. In the simple ionic limit, this interface presents an extra half electron or hole per two-dimensional unit cell, depending on the structure of the interface. The hole-doped interface is found to be insulating, whereas the electron-doped interface is conducting, with extremely high carrier mobility exceeding 10,000 cm2 V(-1) s(-1). At low temperature, dramatic magnetoresistance oscillations periodic with the inverse magnetic field are observed, indicating quantum transport. These results present a broad opportunity to tailor low-dimensional charge states by atomically engineered oxide heteroepitaxy.
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            Author and article information

            Journal
            Advances in Physics
            Advances in Physics
            Informa UK Limited
            0001-8732
            1460-6976
            February 2011
            February 2011
            : 60
            : 1
            : 5-84
            10.1080/00018732.2010.534865
            © 2011

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