Christoph Richter
Experimental Investigation of Electronic and Magnetic Properties of LaAlO3-SrTiO3 Interfaces
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Jochen Mannhart [Experimental physics VI]
Date of oral examination: 02/08/2013
204 pages, english
This thesis is an experimental study of the interface between LaAlO3 (LAO) and SrTiO3 (STO). Both materials are non-magnetic insulators. LAO-STO interfaces, however, can be conducting, and even superconducting at millikelvin temperatures. Moreover, using cantilever-based torque magnetometry we have found a ferromagnetic-like ordering at such interfaces that coexists with the superconductivity. To gain insight into the underlying electronic structure I have developed and built solid-state planar tunnel devices with LAO-STO interfaces as one tunneling electrode. Using these devices the electronic density of states (DOS) of normal- and superconducting LAO-STO interfaces was mapped with tunneling spectroscopy. Since the charge carrier density at LAO-STO interfaces is highly tunable with electrostatic gating, the spectral DOS of the 2D-superconductor could be explored across a wide T,n-phase diagram. The main result bears a striking resemblance to the pseudogap-phase of high-temperature cuprate superconductors. The appendix reports on possible technical applications of LAO-STO interfaces in field-effect transistors and integrated circuits. Furthermore, it contains extensive experimental results concerning alternative growth procedures and related material systems. The LAO-STO interface is established as a representative of a broader class of conducting oxide interfaces. In particular, a conducting oxide interface without SrTiO3, the LaAlO3-CaTiO3 interface, is investigated.