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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Direct Evidence of the Competing Nature between Electronic and Lattice Breathing Order in Rare-Earth Nickelates.


Correlated electrons give rise to both exotic electronic and magnetic properties in rare-earth nickelates. Here we present evidence of the interfacial coupling between two nickelate systems, EuNiO_{3} (ENO) and LaNiO_{3} (LNO), with different electronic and magnetic properties but with compatible structural registry giving rise to an electrostructural transition, unobserved in each constituent. Nominally, LNO remains in a paramagnetic-metallic R3[over ¯]c phase while orthorhombic ENO undergoes antiferromagnetic and insulating transitions. However, the ENO/LNO heterostructure displays a uniform rotational symmetry set by an entwined interface. This leads to an anomalous reduction of bond disproportionation in the ENO layer through the metal to insulator transition and concomitantly charge disproportionation opens the gap accompanied by antiferromagnetic ordering. Our results resolve a long-standing question in the physics of rare-earth nickelates, herein demonstrating that charge and bond disproportionation are competing mechanisms for the charge localization process in the rare-earth nickelate system.

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