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Title: Carrier localization in perovskite nickelates from oxygen vacancies
Point defects, such as oxygen vacancies, control the physical properties of complex oxides, relevant in active areas of research from superconductivity to resistive memory to catalysis. In most oxide semiconductors, electrons that are associated with oxygen vacancies occupy the conduction band, leading to an increase in the electrical conductivity. Here we demonstrate, in contrast, that in the correlated-electron perovskite rare-earth nickelates, R NiO 3 ( R is a rare-earth element such as Sm or Nd), electrons associated with oxygen vacancies strongly localize, leading to a dramatic decrease in the electrical conductivity by several orders of magnitude. This unusual behavior is found to stem from the combination of crystal field splitting and filling-controlled Mott–Hubbard electron–electron correlations in the Ni 3 d orbitals. Furthermore, we show the distribution of oxygen vacancies in NdNiO 3 can be controlled via an electric field, leading to analog resistance switching behavior. This study demonstrates the potential of nickelates as testbeds to better understand emergent physics in oxide heterostructures as well as candidate systems in the emerging fields of artificial intelligence.
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Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
21992 to 21997
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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