Spatially Controlled Octahedral Rotations and Metal-Insulator Transitions in Nickelate Superlattices

Binbin Chen, Nicolas Gauquelin, Robert J. Green, Jin Hong Lee, Cinthia Piamonteze, Matjaž Spreitzer, Daen Jannis, Johan Verbeeck, Manuel Bibes, Mark Huijben, Guus Rijnders, Gertjan Koster*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The properties of correlated oxides can be manipulated by forming short-period superlattices since the layer thicknesses are comparable with the typical length scales of the involved correlations and interface effects. Herein, we studied the metal-insulator transitions (MITs) in tetragonal NdNiO3/SrTiO3 superlattices by controlling the NdNiO3 layer thickness, n in the unit cell, spanning the length scale of the interfacial octahedral coupling. Scanning transmission electron microscopy reveals a crossover from a modulated octahedral superstructure at n = 8 to a uniform nontilt pattern at n = 4, accompanied by a drastically weakened insulating ground state. Upon further reducing n the predominant dimensionality effect continuously raises the MIT temperature, while leaving the antiferromagnetic transition temperature unaltered down to n = 2. Remarkably, the MIT can be enhanced by imposing a sufficiently large strain even with strongly suppressed octahedral rotations. Our results demonstrate the relevance for the control of oxide functionalities at reduced dimensions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1295-1302
JournalNano letters
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2021

Keywords

  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • metal-insulator transition
  • nickelate superlattice
  • oxygen octahedral rotations
  • strain
  • dimensionality

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