The electronic structure of SrRuO3 thin film with thickness from 50 to 1 unit cell (u.c.) is investigated via the resonant inelastic x-ray scattering (RIXS) technique at the O K-edge to unravel the intriguing interplay of orbital and charge degrees of freedom. We found that orbital-selective quantum confinement effect (QCE) induces the splitting of Ru 4d orbitals. At the same time, we observed a clear suppression of the electron-hole continuum across the metal-to-insulator transition (MIT) occurring at the 4 u.c. sample. From these two clear observations we conclude that QCE gives rise to a Mott insulating phase in ultrathin SrRuO3 films. Our interpretation of the RIXS spectra is supported by the configuration interaction calculations of RuO6 clusters.
|Publication status||Published - 2018 Dec 24|
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