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Title: Two-dimensional limit of crystalline order in perovskite membrane films

Long-range order and phase transitions in two-dimensional (2D) systems—such as magnetism, superconductivity, and crystallinity—have been important research topics for decades. The issue of 2D crystalline order has reemerged recently, with the development of exfoliated atomic crystals. Understanding the dimensional limit of crystalline phases, with different types of bonding and synthetic techniques, is at the foundation of low-dimensional materials design. We study ultrathin membranes of SrTiO 3, an archetypal perovskite oxide with isotropic (3D) bonding. Atomically controlled membranes are released after synthesis by dissolving an underlying epitaxial layer. Although all unreleased films are initially single-crystalline, the SrTiO 3 membrane lattice collapses below a critical thickness (5 unit cells). This crossover from algebraic to exponential decay of the crystalline coherence length is analogous to the 2D topological Berezinskii-Kosterlitz-Thouless (BKT) transition. Finally, the transition is likely driven by chemical bond breaking at the 2D layer-3D bulk interface, defining an effective dimensional phase boundary for coherent crystalline lattices.
Authors:
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ; ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Stanford Univ., Stanford, CA (United States); SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
  2. Stanford Univ., Stanford, CA (United States)
  3. Stanford Nano Shared Facilities, Stanford, CA (United States)
  4. SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
award357195; Stanford Nano Shared Facilities (SNSF), Award ECCS-1542152; award342082; AC02-76SF00515; award342083; GBMF4415
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Science Advances
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 3; Journal Issue: 11; Journal ID: ISSN 2375-2548
Publisher:
AAAS
Research Org:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE
OSTI Identifier:
1419318