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Issue 20, 2013
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A persistent metal–insulator transition at the surface of an oxygen-deficient, epitaxial manganite film

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Abstract

The oxygen stoichiometry has a large influence on the physical and chemical properties of complex oxides. Most of the functionality in e.g. catalysis and electrochemistry depends in particular on control of the oxygen stoichiometry. In order to understand the fundamental properties of intrinsic surfaces of oxygen-deficient complex oxides, we report on in situ temperature dependent scanning tunnelling spectroscopy experiments on pristine oxygen deficient, epitaxial manganite films. Although these films are insulating in subsequent ex situ in-plane electronic transport experiments at all temperatures, in situ scanning tunnelling spectroscopic data reveal that the surface of these films exhibits a metal–insulator transition (MIT) at 120 K, coincident with the onset of ferromagnetic ordering of small clusters in the bulk of the oxygen-deficient film. The surprising proximity of the surface MIT transition temperature of nonstoichiometric films with that of the fully oxygenated bulk suggests that the electronic properties in the surface region are not significantly affected by oxygen deficiency in the bulk. This carries important implications for the understanding and functional design of complex oxides and their interfaces with specific electronic properties in catalysis, oxide electronics and electrochemistry.

Graphical abstract: A persistent metal–insulator transition at the surface of an oxygen-deficient, epitaxial manganite film

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Publication details

The article was received on 07 May 2013, accepted on 29 Jul 2013 and first published on 01 Aug 2013


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3NR02343E
Citation: Nanoscale, 2013,5, 9659-9665
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    A persistent metal–insulator transition at the surface of an oxygen-deficient, epitaxial manganite film

    P. C. Snijders, M. Gao, H. Guo, G. Cao, W. Siemons, H. Gao, T. Z. Ward, J. Shen and Z. Gai, Nanoscale, 2013, 5, 9659
    DOI: 10.1039/C3NR02343E

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