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Creators/Authors contains: "Paudel, Binod"

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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2024
  2. Abstract

    Actinide materials have various applications that range from nuclear energy to quantum computing. Most current efforts have focused on bulk actinide materials. Tuning functional properties by using strain engineering in epitaxial thin films is largely lacking. Using uranium dioxide (UO2) as a model system, in this work, the authors explore strain engineering in actinide epitaxial thin films and investigate the origin of induced ferromagnetism in an antiferromagnet UO2. It is found that UO2+xthin films are hypostoichiometric (x<0) with in‐plane tensile strain, while they are hyperstoichiometric (x>0) with in‐plane compressive strain. Different from strain engineering in non‐actinide oxide thin films, the epitaxial strain in UO2is accommodated by point defects such as vacancies and interstitials due to the low formation energy. Both epitaxial strain and strain relaxation induced point defects such as oxygen/uranium vacancies and oxygen/uranium interstitials can distort magnetic structure and result in magnetic moments. This work reveals the correlation among strain, point defects and ferromagnetism in strain engineered UO2+xthin films and the results offer new opportunities to understand the influence of coupled order parameters on the emergent properties of many other actinide thin films.

  3. Abstract

    A variety of mechanisms are reported to play critical roles in contributing to the high carrier/electron mobility in oxide/SrTiO3(STO) heterostructures. By using La0.95Sr0.05TiO3(LSTO) epitaxially grown on different single crystal substrates (such as STO, GdScO3, LaAlO3, (LaAlO3)0.3(Sr2AlTaO6)0.7, and CeO2buffered STO) as the model systems, the formation of a conducting substrate surface layer (CSSL) on STO substrate is shown at relatively low growth temperature and high oxygen pressure (725 °C, 5 × 10–4 Torr), which contributes to the enhanced conductivity of the LSTO/STO heterostructures. Different from the conventional oxygen vacancy model, this work reveals that the formation of the CSSL occurs when growing an oxide layer (LSTO in this case) on STO, while neither annealing nor the growth of an Au layer alone at the exact same growth condition generates the CSSL in STO. It demonstrates that the oxide layer actively pulls oxygen from STO substrate at given growth conditions, leading to the formation of the CSSL. The observations emphasize the oxygen transfer across film/substrate interface during the synthesis of oxide heterostructures playing a critical role in functional properties.