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See detailVibrational properties of LaNiO3 films in the ultrathin regime
Schober, Alexander; Fowlie, Jennifer; Guennou, Mael UL et al

in APL Materials (2020)

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See detailVibrational properties of LaNiO3 films in the ultrathin regime
Schober, Alexander; Fowlie, Jennifer; Guennou, Mael UL et al

in APL MATERIALS (2020), 8(6),

Collective rotations and tilts of oxygen polyhedra play a crucial role in the physical properties of complex oxides such as magnetism and conductivity. Such rotations can be tuned by preparing thin films ... [more ▼]

Collective rotations and tilts of oxygen polyhedra play a crucial role in the physical properties of complex oxides such as magnetism and conductivity. Such rotations can be tuned by preparing thin films in which dimensionality, strain, and interface effects come into play. However, little is known of the tilt and rotational distortions in films a few unit cells thick including the question of if coherent tilt patterns survive at all in this ultrathin limit. Here, a series of films of perovskite LaNiO3 is studied and it is shown that the phonon mode related to oxygen octahedral tilts can be followed by Raman spectroscopy down to a film thickness of three pseudocubic perovskite unit cells (similar to 1.2 nm). To push the limits of resolution to the ultrathin regime, a statistical analysis method is introduced to separate the Raman signals of the film and substrate. Most interestingly, these analyses reveal a pronounced hardening of the tilt vibrational mode in the thinnest films. A comparison between the experimental results, first principles simulations of the atomic structure, and the standing wave model, which accounts for size effects on the phononic properties, reveals that in the ultrathin regime, the Raman spectra are a hybrid entity of both the bulk and surface phononic behavior. These results showcase Raman spectroscopy as a powerful tool to probe the behavior of perovskite films down to the ultrathin limit. [less ▲]

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See detailConductivity and Local Structure of LaNiO3 Thin Films
Fowlie, Jennifer; Gibert, Marta; Tieri, Giulio et al

in ADVANCED MATERIALS (2017), 29(18),

A marked conductivity enhancement is reported in 6-11 unit cell LaNiO3 thin films. A maximal conductivity is also observed in ab initio calculations for films of the same thickness. In agreement with ... [more ▼]

A marked conductivity enhancement is reported in 6-11 unit cell LaNiO3 thin films. A maximal conductivity is also observed in ab initio calculations for films of the same thickness. In agreement with results from state of the art scanning transmission electron microscopy, the calculations also reveal a differentiated film structure comprising characteristic surface, interior, and heterointerface structures. Based on this observation, a three-element parallel conductor model is considered and leads to the conclusion that the conductivity enhancement for films of 6-11 unit cells, stems from the onset of intercompetition between the three local structures in the film depth. [less ▲]

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