Dimensionality-driven metal-insulator transition in spin-orbit-coupled IrO_2



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Arias Egido, E. and Laguna Marco, M. A. and Piquer, C. and Jiménez Cabero, P. and Lucas, I. and Morellón, L. and Gallego Toledo, Fernando and Rivera Calzada, Alberto Carlos and Cabero Piris, Mariona and Santamaría Sánchez-Barriga, Jacobo and Fabbris, G. and Haskel, D. and Boada, R. and Díaz Moreno, S. (2021) Dimensionality-driven metal-insulator transition in spin-orbit-coupled IrO_2. Nanoscale, 13 (40). pp. 17125-17135. ISSN 2040-3364

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d1nr04207f


A metal-insulator transition is observed in spin-orbit-coupled IrO_2 thin films upon reduction of the film thickness. In the epitaxially grown samples, the critical thickness (t similar to 1.5-2.2 nm) is found to depend on growth orientation (001), (100) or (110). Interestingly from the applied point of view, the insulating behavior is found even in polycrystalline ultrathin films. By analyzing the experimental electrical response with various theoretical models, we find good fits to the Efros-Shklovskii-VRH and the Arrhenius-type behaviors, which suggests an important role of electron correlations in determining the electrical properties of IrO_2. Our magnetic measurements also point to a significant role of magnetic order. Altogether, our results would point to a mixed Slater- and Mott-type of insulator.

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© 2021 The Royal Society of Chemistry
This work was partially supported by the Spanish MINECO projects MAT2014-54425-R (MINECO/FEDER, UE), MAT2017-82970-C2-R (AEI/FEDER, UE), MAT2017-83468-R (AEI/FEDER, UE), MAT2017-87134-C02-01-R (AEI/FEDER, UE) and MAT2017-87134-C02-02-R (AEI/FEDER, UE), the Spanish MICINN project PID2020-115159GB-I00/AEI/10.13039/501100011033 and by the Aragon Regional Government (Projects No. E12-20R and E28-20R). E. A-E acknowledges the Spanish MINECO and the European Social Fund for an FPI (Formacion de Personal Investigador, 2015) grant. R. B. acknowledges funding support from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement no. 665919. This research used resources of the APS, a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility operated for the DOE Office of Science by Argonne National Laboratory under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357. We acknowledge Diamond Light Source for time on I20-Scanning under Proposal SP-17266. The research leading to this result has been supported by the project CALIPSOplus under the Grant Agreement 730872 from the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020. The authors acknowledge funding from the project Quantox of QuantERA ERA-NET Cofund of Quantum Technologies (Grant Agreement No. 731473) implemented within the European Union's Horizon 2020 Programme. The authors would like to acknowledge the use of Servicio General de Apoyo a la InvestigacionSAI, Universidad de Zaragoza. The authors would like to acknowledge the use of the diffractometers at the Instituto de Nanociencia de Aragon and C. Munuera for AFM images.

Uncontrolled Keywords:Ray circular-dichroism; Conductivity; Strain
Subjects:Sciences > Physics > Materials
Sciences > Physics > Solid state physics
ID Code:68470
Deposited On:04 Nov 2021 19:32
Last Modified:05 Nov 2021 08:25

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