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Artificial two-dimensional polar metal at room temperature.

Published Web Location

http://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-03964-9
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Abstract

Polar metals, commonly defined by the coexistence of polar crystal structure and metallicity, are thought to be scarce because the long-range electrostatic fields favoring the polar structure are expected to be fully screened by the conduction electrons of a metal. Moreover, reducing from three to two dimensions, it remains an open question whether a polar metal can exist. Here we report on the realization of a room temperature two-dimensional polar metal of the B-site type in tri-color (tri-layer) superlattices BaTiO3/SrTiO3/LaTiO3. A combination of atomic resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy with electron energy-loss spectroscopy, optical second harmonic generation, electrical transport, and first-principles calculations have revealed the microscopic mechanisms of periodic electric polarization, charge distribution, and orbital symmetry. Our results provide a route to creating all-oxide artificial non-centrosymmetric quasi-two-dimensional metals with exotic quantum states including coexisting ferroelectric, ferromagnetic, and superconducting phases.

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