Electrical-field-driven metal-insulator transition tuned with self-aligned atomic defects

Askar Syrlybekov, Han Chun Wu, Ozhet Mauit, Ye Cun Wu, Pierce Maguire, Abbas Khalid, Cormac Ó Coileaín, Leo Farrell, Cheng Lin Heng, Mohamed Abid, Huajun Liu, Li Yang, Hong Zhou Zhang, Igor V. Shvets

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Abstract

Recently, significant attention has been paid to the resistance switching (RS) behaviour in Fe3O4 and it was explained through the analogy of the electrically driven metal-insulator transition based on the quantum tunneling theory. Here, we propose a method to experimentally support this explanation and provide a way to tune the critical switching parameter by introducing self-aligned localized impurities through the growth of Fe3O4 thin films on stepped Sr. iO3 substrates. Anisotropic behavior in the RS was observed, where a lower switching voltage in the range of 104 V cm-1 is required to switch Fe3O4 from a high conducting state to a low conducting state when the electrical field is applied along the steps. The anisotropic RS behavior is attributed to a high density array of anti-phase boundaries (APBs) formed at the step edges and thus are aligned along the same direction in the film which act as a train of hotspot forming conduits for resonant tunneling. Our experimental studies open an interesting window to tune the electrical-field-driven metal-insulator transition in strongly correlated systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14055-14061
Number of pages7
JournalNanoscale
Volume7
Issue number33
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 7 2015

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)

Cite this

Syrlybekov, A., Wu, H. C., Mauit, O., Wu, Y. C., Maguire, P., Khalid, A., Ó Coileaín, C., Farrell, L., Heng, C. L., Abid, M., Liu, H., Yang, L., Zhang, H. Z., & Shvets, I. V. (2015). Electrical-field-driven metal-insulator transition tuned with self-aligned atomic defects. Nanoscale, 7(33), 14055-14061. https://doi.org/10.1039/c5nr03251b