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Publication Detail / Abstract

A. B. Georgescu, O. E. Peil, A. S. Disa, A. Georges, A. J. Millis

Disentangling lattice and electronic contributions to the metal–insulator transition from bulk vs. layer confined RNiO3

published on PNAS on July 16, 2019
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Our combined theoretical and experimental study of bulk and heterostructured forms of a correlated electron material leads to insights into the metal–insulator transition. Comparison of single-layer, bilayer, and very thick samples validates a combined ab-initio/many-body theoretical approach and enables a clear disentangling of electronic and lattice contributions to the transition by independently changing each. Analysis of the lattice relaxations associated with the metal–insulator transition highlights the importance of the elastic properties of and propagation of distortions into the electronically inert counterlayer, defining a control parameter for tuning electronic properties. Counterlayer-induced bond-angle changes and electronic confinement provide separate tuning parameters, with bond-angle changes found to be a much less effective tuning parameter.
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