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Phys Rev Lett. 2002 Feb 18;88(7):075508. Epub 2002 Feb 1.

Localized metallic conductivity and self-healing during thermal reduction of SrTiO3.

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Institut für Festkörperforschung, Forschungszentrum Jülich, 52425 Jülich, Germany.


The occurrence of metallic conductivity in SrTiO3 single crystals is reported for reduction under low partial pressure of oxygen at 800 degrees C. This transition is shown to result from the formation of a high concentration of vacancy defects along a network of extended defects within the skin region. A self-healing phenomenon is observed for progressive reduction which causes the concentration of initially introduced defects to decrease in the course of heat treatment and leads to a breakdown of the metallic conductivity as well as a substantial loss of optical subgap absorption.

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