Connecting bulk symmetry and orbital polarization in strained RNiO 3 ultrathin films

I. C. Tung*, P. V. Balachandran, Jian Liu, B. A. Gray, E. A. Karapetrova, J. H. Lee, J. Chakhalian, M. J. Bedzyk, J. M. Rondinelli, J. W. Freeland

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


We examine the structural and electronic properties of LaNiO3 and NdNiO3 epitaxial thin films grown on cubic (001) SrTiO 3 from the viewpoint of bulk crystal symmetry and misfit strain. X-ray scattering and polarization-dependent x-ray absorption spectroscopy measurements are performed to determine the crystal symmetry and extract the local Ni 3d orbital response, respectively, to understand the strain-induced distortions of the bulk structure. A strain-induced orbital polarization is found in NdNiO3 films, but is absent in LaNiO3 films. The difference in electronic structure is attributed to the bulk thermodynamic phases through group theoretical methods, which reveals that thin film perovskites retain a "memory" of their preferred electronic and structural configurations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number205112
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number20
StatePublished - Nov 12 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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