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Title: Thickness-dependent metal-insulator transition in epitaxial SrRuO3 ultrathin films

Transport characteristics of ultrathin SrRuO₃ films, deposited epitaxially on TiO₂-terminated SrTiO₃ (001) single-crystal substrates, were studied as a function of film thickness. Evolution from a metallic to an insulating behavior is observed as the film thickness decreases from 20 to 4 unit cells. In films thicker than 4 unit cells, the transport behavior obeys the Drude low temperature conductivity with quantum corrections, which can be attributed to weak localization. Fitting the data with 2-dimensional localization model indicates that electron-phonon collisions are the main inelastic relaxation mechanism. In the film of 4 unit cells in thickness, the transport behavior follows variable range hopping model, indicating a strongly localized state. As a result, magnetoresistance measurements reveal a likely magnetic anisotropy with the magnetic easy axis along the out-of-plane direction.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Nanjing Univ., Nanjing (China)
  2. Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
  3. Institute of Ion Beam Physics and Materials Research, Dresden (Germany)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1182535
Report Number(s):
BNL--107631-2015-JA
Journal ID: ISSN 0021-8979; JAPIAU; R&D Project: 16060; KC0403020; TRN: US1500508
Grant/Contract Number:
SC00112704
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Applied Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 117; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 0021-8979
Publisher:
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Research Org:
Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY functional nanomaterials; metallic thin films; metal insulator transitions; weak localization; magnetoresistance; magnetic films