logo icmab ochoa 02 01 logo icmab ochoa 02 01
  • NEWS

Engineering two-dimensional superconductivity and Rashba spin–orbit coupling in ​LaAlO3/​SrTiO3 quantum wells by selective orbital occupancy


Gervasi HerranzGyanendra SinghNicolas BergealAlexis JouanJérôme LesueurJaume GázquezMaría VarelaMateusz ScigajNico Dix, Florencio Sánchez & Josep Fontcuberta.    

Nature Communications 6Article number: 6028


The development of today’s electronics is reaching fundamental limits and novel concepts and materials are researched to achieve ever faster and more efficient electronic devices. In this regard, oxides are well positioned, as they display a fascinating complexity of electronic phases –not present in conventional semiconductors–that may open new pathways.

The interface between LaAlO3 and SrTiO3 is the oxide quantum well (QW) par excellence, where superconductivity and magnetism emerge. In LaAlO3/SrTiO3 QWs electrons move in two dimensions forming a two-dimensional electron gas (2DEG, Box a). However, not all the electrons reside in the same QW subband (Box b) and, indeed, they behave differently depending on which orbital are they occupying. We demonstrate that the symmetry of the conduction band inside the QWs can be selected, so that the properties of electrons vary largely. In particular, we show that in the superconductive state Cooper pairs do not bind in the same way either when we change the number of electrons in the 2DEG by electric fields (Box a) or when the direction of confinement is changed (Box b). We also show that choosing the confinement plane allows manipulating the spin-dependent transport in these QWs.

Our work opens a groundbreaking route to manipulate selectively electrons in two dimensions. See more @ G. Herranz at al., Engineering two-dimensional superconductivity and Rashba spin–orbit coupling in LaAlO3/SrTiO3 quantum wells by selective orbital occupancy, Nature Communications 2014, doi:10.1038/ncomms7028. 

See more posts on ICMAB related to: Materials for information science and electronics

Related Topics: Materials for information science and electronics

Also on ICMAB...

  • Congratulations to Dr. Blai Casals, new ICMAB graduate!

    15 September 2017 437 hit(s)

    Dr. Blai Casals Montserrat has defended his PhD thesis, entitled "Magneto-optical spectroscopy and domain imaging of functional oxides" on Friday, September 15th, at 11 am. The ICMAB Sala d'actes Carles Miravitlles was not big enough to fit all the people, including ICMAB colleagues, friends and family, who attented the PhD defense!
  • Imaging how magnetism goes surfing

    01 September 2017 529 hit(s)

    Using ALBA’s synchrotron light, researchers have been able to visualise deformation (sound) waves in crystals and measured the effect on nanomagnetic elements. The study, published today in Nature Communications, uses the accelerators’ time structure to record time resolved images with a resolution of 80 picoseconds. The methodology offers a new approach for analysing dynamic strains in other research fields: nanoparticles, chemical reactions, crystallography, etc.