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New Insights into the Strain Coupling to Surface Chemistry, Electronic Structure, and Reactivity of La0.7Sr0.3MnO3

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journal contribution
posted on 16.12.2015 by Helia Jalili, Jeong Woo Han, Yener Kuru, Zhuhua Cai, Bilge Yildiz
Effects of strain on the surface cation chemistry and the electronic structure are important to understand and control for attaining fast oxygen reduction kinetics on transition-metal oxides. Here we demonstrate and mechanistically interpret the strain coupling to Sr segregation, oxygen vacancy formation, and electronic structure on the surface of La0.7Sr0.3MnO3 (LSM) thin films as a model system. Our experimental results from X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and scanning tunneling spectroscopy are discussed in light of our first principles-based simulations. A stronger Sr enrichment tendency and a more facile oxygen vacancy formation prevail for the tensile-strained LSM surface. At 500 °C in 10−3 mbar oxygen, both LSM film surfaces exhibit a metallic-like tunneling conductance, with a higher density of electronic states near the Fermi level on the tensile-strained LSM surface, contrary to the behavior at room temperature. Our findings illustrate the potential role and mechanism of lattice strain in tuning the reactivity of perovskite transition-metal oxides with oxygen in solid oxide fuel cell cathodes.