Metallic Quantum Well States in Artificial Structures of Strongly Correlated Oxide

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Science  15 Jul 2011:
Vol. 333, Issue 6040, pp. 319-322
DOI: 10.1126/science.1205771

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The quantum confinement of strongly correlated electrons in artificial structures provides a platform for studying the behavior of correlated Fermi-liquid states in reduced dimensions. We report the creation and control of two-dimensional electron-liquid states in ultrathin films of SrVO3 grown on Nb:SrTiO3 substrates, which are artificial oxide structures that can be varied in thickness by single monolayers. Angle-resolved photoemission from the SrVO3/Nb:SrTiO3 samples shows metallic quantum well states that are adequately described by the well-known phase-shift quantization rule. The observed quantum well states in SrVO3 ultrathin films exhibit distinctive features—such as orbital-selective quantization originating from the anisotropic orbital character of the V 3d states and unusual band renormalization of the subbands near the Fermi level—that reflect complex interactions in the quantum well.

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