Tuning Up or Down the Critical Thickness in LaAlO3/SrTiO3 through In Situ Deposition of Metal Overlayers

Diogo Castro Vaz, Edouard Lesne, Anke Sander, Hiroshi Naganuma, Eric Jacquet, Jacobo Santamaria, Agnès Barthélémy, Manuel Bibes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


The quasi 2D electron system (q2DES) that forms at the interface between LaAlO3 and SrTiO3 has attracted much attention from the oxide electronics community. One of its hallmark features is the existence of a critical LaAlO3 thickness of 4 unit-cells (uc) for interfacial conductivity to emerge. In this paper, the chemical, electronic, and transport properties of LaAlO3/SrTiO3 samples capped with different metals grown in a system combining pulsed laser deposition, sputtering, and in situ X-ray photoemission spectroscopy are investigated. The results show that for metals with low work function a q2DES forms at 1–2 uc of LaAlO3 and is accompanied by a partial oxidation of the metal, a phenomenon that affects the q2DES properties and triggers the formation of defects. In contrast, for noble metals, the critical thickness is increased above 4 uc. The results are discussed in terms of a hybrid mechanism that incorporates electrostatic and chemical effects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1700486
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number28
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jul 26


  • 2D electron gas
  • X-ray photoemission
  • interfaces
  • magnetotransport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Tuning Up or Down the Critical Thickness in LaAlO3/SrTiO3 through In Situ Deposition of Metal Overlayers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this