"Electronic structure of the parent compound of superconducting infinite-layer nickelates"

M. Hepting: D. Li, C. J. Jia, H. Lu, E. Paris, Y. Tseng, X. Feng, M. Osada, E. Been, Y. Hikita, Y.-D. Chuang, Z. Hussain, K. J. Zhou, A. Nag, M. Garcia-Fernandez, M. Rossi, H. Y. Huang, D. J. Huang, Z. X. Shen, T. Schmitt, H. Y. Hwang, B. Moritz, J. Zaanen, T. P. Devereaux & W. S. Lee; Nature Materials, 01/20/20.

Additional Authors: D. Li, C. J. Jia, H. Lu, E. Paris, Y. Tseng, X. Feng, M. Osada, E. Been, Y. Hikita, Y.-D. Chuang, Z. Hussain, K. J. Zhou, A. Nag, M. Garcia-Fernandez, M. Rossi, H. Y. Huang, D. J. Huang, Z. X. Shen, T. Schmitt, H. Y. Hwang, B. Moritz, J. Zaanen, T. P. Devereaux & W. S. Lee

Abstract:

The search continues for nickel oxide-based materials with electronic properties similar to cuprate high-temperature superconductors1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10. The recent discovery of superconductivity in the doped infinite-layer nickelate NdNiO2 (refs. 11,12) has strengthened these efforts. Here, we use X-ray spectroscopy and density functional theory to show that the electronic structure of LaNiO2 and NdNiO2, while similar to the cuprates, includes significant distinctions. Unlike cuprates, the rare-earth spacer layer in the infinite-layer nickelate supports a weakly interacting three-dimensional 5d metallic state, which hybridizes with a quasi-two-dimensional, strongly correlated state with 3dx2− y2 symmetry in the NiO2 layers. Thus, the infinite-layer nickelate can be regarded as a sibling of the rare-earth intermetallics13,14,15, which are well known for heavy fermion behaviour, where the NiO2 correlated layers play an analogous role to the 4f states in rare-earth heavy fermion compounds. This Kondo- or Anderson-lattice-like ‘oxide-intermetallic’ replaces the Mott insulator as the reference state from which superconductivity emerges upon doping.