Oxide thin films
Complex Oxide Thin Films
Manganite-based perovskites, i.e, ABO3 perovskites with B=Mn, have been our workhorse material in the last years and, in particular, the optimally doped La0.7Sr0.3MnO3 (LSMO) system. This is the most interesting compound of the manganite family due to its half-metallic character and ferromagnetic behavior at room temperature. It has been proposed as essential building block for spintronic devices such as magnetic tunnel junctions or mem-resistors. We study the growth of high quality LSMO epitaxial thin films with different surface morphologies (from atomically flat surfaces to nanostructured arrays of nanoobjects).
Our interest extends also to LaMnO3 (LMO), the parent compound of manganites. Stoichiometric LMO in bulk state is an insulating antiferromagnet. However, in thin film form structural strain may lead to ferromagnetic insulating behavior. Understanding the origin and mechanisms of this behavior is also a subject of our current interest.
Double perovskite La2CoMnO6 exhibits ferromagnetic insulating character thus being a good candidate for active insulating barriers in spin-based devices. However, its properties, as saturation magnetization, are strongly dependent on Co/Mn cationic ordering. We investigate the growth conditions of high quality La2CoMnO6 thin films to explore their suitability as spin filters.
Ruddlesden-Popper Srn+1IrnO3 (SIO) iridate materials have recently gained enormous interest as they combine antiferromagnetic insulating behaviour with strong spin-orbit coupling. We are interested in exploring the growth of SIO thin films to study strain effects on their properties.
Other oxides for spintronics
We devote a part of our activity to study the growth of different oxide materials suitable as insulating barriers for spintronic devices. LaAlO3, SrTiO3 and MgO thin films have been grown and their integration in heterostructures is also studied.