Though first order transitions are thought to be abrupt, materials find cunning ways to smooth the jump. Here we show that VO2 chooses making beautiful tapestries at the atomic scale. To see how, and how they affect its intriguing metal-insulator transition, continue reading:
The observation of electronic phase separation textures in vanadium dioxide, a prototypical electron‐correlated oxide, has recently added new perspectives on the long standing debate about its metal–insulator transition and its applications. Yet, the lack of atomically resolved information on phases accompanying such complex patterns still hinders a comprehensive understanding of the transition and its implementation in practical devices. In this work, atomic resolution imaging and spectroscopy unveils the existence of ferroelastic tweed structures on ≈ 5 nm length scales, well below the resolution limit of currently used spectroscopic imaging techniques. Moreover, density functional theory calculations show that this pretransitional fine‐scale tweed, which on average looks and behaves like the standard metallic rutile phase, is in fact weaved by semi‐dimerized chains of vanadium in a new monoclinic phase that represents a structural bridge to the monoclinic insulating ground state. These observations provide a multiscale perspective for the interpretation of existing data, whereby phase coexistence and structural intermixing can occur all the way down to the atomic scale.
Oxides for new-generation electronics
Metallic Diluted Dimerization in VO2 Tweeds
Felip Sandiumenge, Laura Rodríguez, Miguel Pruneda, César Magén, José Santiso, Gustau Catalan
When illuminating a non-centrosymmetric material with light of energy higher than the bandgap, a net current appears because the electrons do not see the same electronic environment in one direction and the opposite direction, thus they hold a net momentum. This is the bulk photovoltaic effect (BPE), which depends on the light polarization.
Spin-charge conversion requires materials with a large spin-orbit coupling, which is typically obtained in heavy metal (Pt, etc.) ions. Here we demonstrate spin pumping across interfaces between metallic SrVO3, where V is a 3d1 ion, epitaxial thin films and ferromagnetic Ni80Fe20.
Building on recent developments in electronic-structure methods, we define and calculate the flexoelectric response of two-dimensional (2D) materials fully from first principles. In particular, we show that the open-circuit voltage response to a flexural deformation is a fundamental linear-response property of the crystal that can be calculated within the primitive unit cell of the flat configuration.
We present a complete structural study of the successive phase transitions observed in the YBaMn2O6 compound with the layered ordering of cations on the perovskite A-site. We have combined synchrotron radiation X-ray powder diffraction and symmetry-adapted mode analysis to describe the distorted structures as pseudosymmetric with respect to the parent tetragonal structure.
The development of new synthetic methodologies of perovskite oxynitrides is challenging but necessary for the search of new compounds and the investigation of new properties. Here, we report a new method of preparation of the perovskite LaTaON2 that has been investigated as a pigment and photocatalyst for water splitting.