Metallic transition-metal oxides undergo a metal-to-insulator transition (MIT) as the film thickness decreases across a critical thickness of several monolayers (MLs), but its driving mechanism remains controversial. We have studied the thickness-dependent MIT of the ferromagnetic metal La0.6Sr0.4MnO3 by x-ray absorption spectroscopy and x-ray magnetic circular dichroism. As the film thickness was decreased across the critical thickness of the MIT (6-8 ML), a gradual decrease of the ferromagnetic signals and a concomitant increase of paramagnetic signals were observed, while the Mn valence abruptly decreased towards Mn3+. These observations suggest that the ferromagnetic phase gradually and most likely inhomogeneously turns into the paramagnetic phase and both phases abruptly become insulating at the critical thickness.
|Journal||Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics|
|Publication status||Published - 2014 Jun 23|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics