Optical properties of LaNi O3 films tuned from compressive to tensile strain
Journal article, 2020

Materials with strong electronic correlations host remarkable - and technologically relevant - phenomena such as magnetism, superconductivity, and metal-insulator transitions. Harnessing and controlling these effects is a major challenge, on which key advances are being made through lattice and strain engineering in thin films and heterostructures, leveraging the complex interplay between electronic and structural degrees of freedom. Here we show that the electronic structure of LaNiO3 can be tuned by means of lattice engineering. We use different substrates to induce compressive and tensile biaxial epitaxial strain in LaNiO3 thin films. Our measurements reveal systematic changes of the optical spectrum as a function of strain and, notably, an increase of the low-frequency free carrier weight as tensile strain is applied. Using density functional theory (DFT) calculations, we show that this apparently counterintuitive effect is due to a change of orientation of the oxygen octahedra. The calculations also reveal drastic changes of the electronic structure under strain, associated with a Fermi surface Lifshitz transition. We provide an online applet to explore these effects. The experimental value of integrated spectral weight below 2 eV is significantly (up to a factor of 3) smaller than the DFT results, indicating a transfer of spectral weight from the infrared to energies above 2 eV. The suppression of the free carrier weight and the transfer of spectral weight to high energies together indicate a correlation-induced band narrowing and free carrier mass enhancement due to electronic correlations. Our findings provide a promising avenue for the tuning and control of quantum materials employing lattice engineering.


I. Ardizzone

University of Geneva

M. Zingl

Flatiron Institute

J. Teyssier

University of Geneva

Hugo Strand

Flatiron Institute

Chalmers, Physics, E-commons

O. Peil

Materials Center Leoben Forschung GmbH

J. Fowlie

University of Geneva

A. B. Georgescu

Flatiron Institute

S. Catalano

University of Geneva


N. Bachar

University of Geneva

A. B. Kuzmenko

University of Geneva

M. Gibert

University of Zürich

University of Geneva

J. M. Triscone

University of Geneva

A. Georges

University of Geneva

Flatiron Institute

École polytechnique

Collège de France

D. Van Der Marel

University of Geneva

Physical Review B

24699950 (ISSN) 24699969 (eISSN)

Vol. 102 15 155148

Subject Categories

Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics

Other Physics Topics

Condensed Matter Physics



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1/2/2023 1