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Experimental evidence for oxygen sublattice control in polar infinite layer SrCuO2

  • Author(s): Samal, D
  • Tan, H
  • Molegraaf, H
  • Kuiper, B
  • Siemons, W
  • Bals, S
  • Verbeeck, J
  • Van Tendeloo, G
  • Takamura, Y
  • Arenholz, E
  • Jenkins, CA
  • Rijnders, G
  • Koster, G
  • et al.
Abstract

A recent theoretical study predicted a thickness limit below which ideal polar cuprates turn nonpolar driven by the associated electrostatic instability. Here we demonstrate this possibility by inducing a structural transformation from the bulk planar to chainlike structure upon reducing the SrCuO2repeat thickness in SrCuO2/SrTiO3superlattices with unit-cell precision. Our results, based on structural investigation by x-ray diffraction and high resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy, demonstrate that the oxygen sublattice can essentially be built by design. In addition, the electronic structure of the chainlike structure, as studied by x-ray absorption spectroscopy, shows the signature for preferential hole occupation in the Cu 3d3z2-r2orbital, which is different from the planar case. © 2013 American Physical Society.

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