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In this work we study the interfaces between the Mott insulator LaMnO3 (LMO) and the band insulator SrTiO3 (STO) in epitaxially grown superlattices with different thickness ratios and different transport and magnetic behaviors. Using atomic resolution electron energy-loss spectral imaging, we analyze simultaneously the structural and chemical properties of these interfaces. We find changes in the oxygen octahedral tilts within the LaMnO3 layers when the thickness ratio between the manganite and the titanate layers is varied. Superlattices with thick LMO and ultrathin STO layers present unexpected octahedral tilts in the STO, along with a small amount of oxygen vacancies. On the other hand, thick STO layers exhibit undistorted octahedra while the LMO layers present reduced O octahedral distortions near the interfaces. These findings are discussed in view of the transport and magnetic differences found in previous studies.
Colossal ionic conductivity was recently discovered in YSZ/SrTiO3 multilayers and was explained in terms of strain- and interface-enhanced disorder of the O sublattice. In the present paper we use a combination of scanning transmission electron microscopy and electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) and theoretical EELS simulations to confirm the presence of a disordered YSZ O sublattice in coherent YSZ/SrTiO3 multilayers. O K-edge fine structure simulated for the strained disordered O sublattice phase of YSZ possesses blurred-out features compared to that of ordered cubic bulk YSZ, and experimental EELS fine structure taken from the strained YSZ of coherent YSZ/SrTiO3 thin films is similarly blurred out. Elemental mapping is shown to be capable of resolving ordered YSZ O sublattices. Elemental mapping of O in the coherent YSZ/STO multilayers is presented in which the O sublattice is seen to be clearly resolved in the STO but blurred out in the YSZ, indicating it to be disordered. In addition, we present imaging and EELS results which show that strained regions exist at the incoherent interfaces of YSZ islands in STO with blurred out fine structure, suggesting these incoherent regions may also support high ionic conductivities. Recently, Cavallaro et al. reported electronic conductivities in samples of incoherent disconnected islands embedded in STO that are similar to the islands described herein. The presence of a region of O depleted STO at the interface with incoherent YSZ islands is revealed by EELS elemental mapping, implying the n-type doping of STO/YSZ nanocomposites with disconnected incoherent YSZ islands.
We report large magnetoresistance (in excess of 1000%) in ferromagnet / superconductor / ferromagnet structures made of La0.7Ca0.3MnO3 and YBa2Cu3O7 in the current in plane (CIP) geometry. This magnetoresistance has many of the ingredients of the giant magnetoresistance of metallic superlattices: it is independent on the angle between current and magnetic field, depends on the relative orientation of the magnetization in the ferromagnetic layers, and takes very large values. The origin is enhanced scattering at the F/S interface in the anti parallel configuration of the magnetizations. Furthermore, we examine the dependence of the magnetoresistance effect on the thickness of the superconducting layer, and show that the magnetoresistance dies out for thickness in excess of 30 nm, setting a length scale for the diffusion of spin polarized quasiparticles.
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