Critical thickness and orbital ordering in ultrathin La0.7 Sr0.3 MnO3 films

M. Huijben*, L. W. Martin, Ying-hao Chu, M. B. Holcomb, P. Yu, G. Rijnders, D. H.A. Blank, R. Ramesh

*Corresponding author for this work

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Detailed analysis of transport, magnetism, and x-ray absorption spectroscopy measurements on ultrathin La0.7 Sr0.3 MnO3 films with thicknesses from 3 to 70 unit cells resulted in the identification of a lower critical thickness for a nonmetallic nonferromagnetic layer at the interface with the SrTiO3 (001) substrate of only three unit cells (∼12 Å). Furthermore, linear-dichroism measurements demonstrate the presence of a preferred (x2 - y2) in-plane orbital ordering for all layer thicknesses without any orbital reconstruction at the interface. A crucial requirement for the accurate study of these ultrathin films is a controlled growth process, offering the coexistence of layer-by-layer growth and bulklike magnetic/transport properties.

Original languageEnglish
Article number094413
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number9
StatePublished - 16 Sep 2008

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