"A termination-insensitive and robust electron gas at the heterointerface of two complex oxides"

Meng Zhang: Kai Du, Tianshuang Ren, He Tian, Ze Zhang, Harold Y. Hwang & Yanwu Xie; Nature Communications, 09/06/19.

Additional Authors: Kai Du, Tianshuang Ren, He Tian, Ze Zhang, Harold Y. Hwang & Yanwu Xie

Abstract:

The single-crystal SrTiO3 (001) has two different surface terminations, TiO2 and SrO. One most remarkable observation in previous studies is that only the heterointerfaces with TiO2-terminated SrTiO3, which usually combines with polar oxides such as LaAlO3, host an electron gas. Here we show that a robust electron gas can be generated between a non-polar oxide, CaHfO3, and SrTiO3 (001) with either termination. Unlike the well-known electron gas of LaAlO3/SrTiO3, the present one of CaHfO3/SrTiO3 essentially has no critical thickness of CaHfO3, can survive a long-time oxygen annealing at high temperature, and its transport properties are stable under exposure to water and other polar solvents. By electrostatic gating through CaHfO3, field-effect devices are demonstrated using CaHfO3/SrTiO3 heterointerfaces with both terminations. These results show that the electron gas reported in the present study is unique and promising for applications in oxide electronics.