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Evidence of strain induced structural change in hetero-epitaxial NdNiO3 thin films with metal-insulator transition

Evidence of strain induced structural change in hetero-epitaxial NdNiO3 thin films with metal-insulator transition,10.1051/epjap:2003087,European Phys

Evidence of strain induced structural change in hetero-epitaxial NdNiO3 thin films with metal-insulator transition  
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Neodymium nickelate thin films have been prepared on NdGaO{3} substrates by RF magnetron sputtering and post-annealing treatment under oxygen pressure. Transport properties are found to depend strongly on film thickness. Thick films show transport properties close to bulk ceramics, while very thin films exhibit a large transition from metal to insulator which occurs over a wide temperature range with high resistivity. Structure and surface morphology of the films have been investigated by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). Thin films (≈17 nm) grow heteroepitaxially, while thicker films (≈73 nm) show a granular structure. The thinnest sample suggests a symmetry change induced by the epitaxial strain of the substrate. This paper discusses the relationship between microstructure and transport properties.
Journal: European Physical Journal-applied Physics - EUR PHYS J-APPL PHYS , vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 25-31, 2004
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