Scientific article
Open access

Light control of the nanoscale phase separation in heteroepitaxial nickelates

Published inPhysical review materials, vol. 2, no. 8, 085002
Publication date2018-08-13
First online date2018-08-13

Strongly correlated materials show unique solid-state phase transitions with rich nanoscale phenomenology that can be controlled by external stimuli. Particularly interesting is the case of light–matter interaction in the proximity of the metal–insulator transition of heteroepitaxial nickelates. In this work, we use near-infrared laser light in the high-intensity excitation regime to manipulate the nanoscale phase separation in NdNiO3. By tuning the laser intensity, we can reproducibly set the coverage of insulating nanodomains, which we image by photoemission electron microscopy, thus semipermanently configuring the material state. With the aid of transport measurements and finite element simulations, we identify two different timescales of thermal dynamics in the light–matter interaction: a steady-state and a fast transient local heating. These results open interesting perspectives for locally manipulating and reconfiguring electronic order at the nanoscale by optical means.

Research group
  • UK Research and Innovation - Engineering Novel Functionalities in Ferroelectric Oxide Heterostructures [EP/M007073/1]
  • European Commission - Designer Quantum Materials Out of Equilibrium [677458]
Citation (ISO format)
MATTONI, G. et al. Light control of the nanoscale phase separation in heteroepitaxial nickelates. In: Physical review materials, 2018, vol. 2, n° 8, p. 085002. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevMaterials.2.085002
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal2475-9953

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