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Exotic Long-Range Surface Reconstruction on La0.7Sr0.3MnO3 Thin Films

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journal contribution
posted on 10.02.2021, 18:37 by Kyle P. Kelley, Vinit Sharma, Wenrui Zhang, Arthur P. Baddorf, Von B. Nascimento, Rama K. Vasudevan
Due to an extremely diverse phase space, La1–xSrxMnO3, as with other manganites, offers a wide range of tunability and applications including colossal magnetoresistance and use as spin-polarized electrodes. Here, we study an unprecedented, exotic surface reconstruction (6 × 6) in La1–xSrxMnO3 (x = 0.3) observed via low-energy electron diffraction (LEED). Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) shows the surface is relatively flat, with unit-cell step heights, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) reveals a strong degree of Sr segregation at the surface. By combining electron diffraction and first-principles computations, we propose that the long-range surface reconstruction consists of a Sr-segregated surface with La (6 × 6) ordering. This study expands our understanding of manganite systems and underscores their ability to form interesting surface reconstructions, driven largely by cation segregation that can potentially be controlled for tuning surface ordering.