Electronic and Structural Disorder of the Epitaxial La0.67Sr0.33MnO3 Surface

Michael Verhage, Emma van der Minne, Ellen M. Kiens, Lucas Korol, Raymond J. Spiteri, Gertjan Koster, Robert J. Green, Christoph Baeumer*, Cornelis F.J. Flipse*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Understanding and tuning epitaxial complex oxide films are crucial in controlling the behavior of devices and catalytic processes. Substrate-induced strain, doping, and layer growth are known to influence the electronic and magnetic properties of the bulk of the film. In this study, we demonstrate a clear distinction between the bulk and surface of thin films of La0.67Sr0.33MnO3 in terms of chemical composition, electronic disorder, and surface morphology. We use a combined experimental approach of X-ray-based characterization methods and scanning probe microscopy. Using X-ray diffraction and resonant X-ray reflectivity, we uncover surface nonstoichiometry in the strontium and lanthanum alongside an accumulation of oxygen vacancies. With scanning tunneling microscopy, we observed an electronic phase separation (EPS) on the surface related to this nonstoichiometry. The EPS is likely driving the temperature-dependent resistivity transition and is a cause of proposed mixed-phase ferromagnetic and paramagnetic states near room temperature in these thin films.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21273–21282
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2024


  • EPS
  • LSMO
  • nonstoichiometry
  • RXR
  • SPM


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