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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Artificial two-dimensional polar metal at room temperature

  • Author(s): Cao, Y
  • Wang, Z
  • Park, SY
  • Yuan, Y
  • Liu, X
  • Nikitin, SM
  • Akamatsu, H
  • Kareev, M
  • Middey, S
  • Meyers, D
  • Thompson, P
  • Ryan, PJ
  • Shafer, P
  • N'Diaye, A
  • Arenholz, E
  • Gopalan, V
  • Zhu, Y
  • Rabe, KM
  • Chakhalian, J
  • et al.

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© 2018 The Author(s). 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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