Coupling Lattice Instabilities across the Interface in Ultrathin Oxide Heterostructures

Thierry C. Van Thiel, Jennifer Fowlie, Carmine Autieri, Nicola Manca, Makars Šiškins, Dmytro Afanasiev, Stefano Gariglio, Andrea D. Caviglia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
40 Downloads (Pure)


Oxide heterointerfaces constitute a rich platform for realizing novel functionalities in condensed matter. A key aspect is the strong link between structural and electronic properties, which can be modified by interfacing materials with distinct lattice symmetries. Here, we determine the effect of the cubic-tetragonal distortion of SrTiO3 on the electronic properties of thin films of SrIrO3, a topological crystalline metal hosting a delicate interplay between spin-orbit coupling and electronic correlations. We demonstrate that below the transition temperature at 105 K, SrIrO3 orthorhombic domains couple directly to tetragonal domains in SrTiO3. This forces the in-phase rotational axis to lie in-plane and creates a binary domain structure in the SrIrO3 film. The close proximity to the metal-insulator transition in ultrathin SrIrO3 causes the individual domains to have strongly anisotropic transport properties, driven by a reduction of bandwidth along the in-phase axis. The strong structure-property relationships in perovskites make these compounds particularly suitable for static and dynamic coupling at interfaces, providing a promising route towards realizing novel functionalities in oxide heterostructures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-394
JournalACS Materials Letters
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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