Dimensionality Control of Electronic Phase Transitions in Nickel-Oxide Superlattices

A. V. Boris, Y. Matiks, E. Benckiser, A. Frano, P. Popovich, V. Hinkov, P. Wochner, M. Castro-Colin, E. Detemple, V. K. Malik, C. Bernhard, T. Prokscha (+6 others)
2011 Science  
The competition between collective quantum phases in materials with strongly correlated electrons depends sensitively on the dimensionality of the electron system, which is difficult to control by standard solid-state chemistry. We have fabricated superlattices of the paramagnetic metal LaNiO3 and the wide-gap insulator LaAlO3 with atomically precise layer sequences. Using optical ellipsometry and low-energy muon spin rotation, superlattices with LaNiO3 as thin as two unit cells are shown to
more » ... ergo a sequence of collective metalinsulator and antiferromagnetic transitions as a function of decreasing temperature, whereas samples with thicker LaNiO3 layers remain metallic and paramagnetic at all temperatures. Metal-oxide superlattices thus allow control of the dimensionality and collective phase behavior of correlated-electron systems.
doi:10.1126/science.1202647 pmid:21596986 fatcat:3r4fmzmiqjbsrcwjq753ggg5eq