Ferroelectricity, Superconductivity, and SrTiO3 - Passions of K.A. Müller

SrTiO3 is an insulating material which, using chemical doping, pressure, strain or isotope substitution, can be turned into a ferroelectric material or into a superconductor. The material itself, and the two aforementioned phenomena, have been subjects of intensive research of Karl Alex Müller and have been a source of inspiration, among other things, for his Nobel prize-winning research on high temperature superconductivity. An intriguing outstanding question is whether the occurrence of ferroelectricity and superconductivity in the same material is just a coincidence, or whether a deeper connection exists. In addition there is the empirical question of how these two phenomena interact with each other. Here we show that it is possible to induce superconductivity in a two-dimensional layer at the interface of SrTiO3 and LaAlO3 when we make the SrTiO3 ferroelectric by means of 18O substitution. Our experiments indicate that the ferroelectricity is perfectly compatible with having a superconducting two-dimensional electron system at the interface. This provides a promising avenue for manipulating superconductivity in a non centrosymmetric environment.

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    Triscone Group
    Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Publication date15/10/2020
Retention date23/11/2030
accessLevelPublicAccess levelPublic
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  • Scheerer, Gernot
  • Boselli, Margherita
  • Pulmannova, Dorota
  • Rischau, Carl Willem orcid
  • Waelchli, Adrien
  • Gariglio, Stefano
  • Giannini, Enrico orcid
  • van der Marel, Dirk orcid
  • Triscone, Jean-Marc
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