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J Phys Condens Matter. 2014 Apr 23;26(16):166001. doi: 10.1088/0953-8984/26/16/166001. Epub 2014 Apr 1.

Intrinsic antiferromagnetic/insulating phase at manganite surfaces and interfaces.

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  • 1Helmholtz-Zentrum-Berlin, Albert-Einstein-Str. 15, 12489 Berlin, Germany.

Abstract

In this work we investigate interfacial effects in bilayer systems integrated by La(2/3)Sr(1/3)MnO(3) (LSMO) thin films and different capping layers by means of surface-sensitive synchrotron radiation techniques and transport measurements. Our data reveal a complex scenario with a capping-dependent variation of the Mn oxidation state by the interface. However, irrespective of the capping material, an antiferromagnetic/insulating phase is also detected at the interface, which is likely to originate from a preferential occupancy of Mn 3d 3z(2)-r(2) e(g) orbitals. This phase, which extends approximately to two unit cells, is also observed in uncapped LSMO reference samples, thus pointing to an intrinsic interfacial phase separation phenomenon, probably promoted by the structural disruption and inversion symmetry breaking at the LSMO free surface/interface. These experimental observations strongly suggest that the structural disruption, with its intrinsic inversion symmetry breaking at the LSMO interfaces, plays a major role in the observed depressed magnetotransport properties in manganite-based magnetic tunneling junctions and explains the origin of the so-called dead layer.

PMID:
24691398
DOI:
10.1088/0953-8984/26/16/166001
[PubMed]
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