Volume 81, Number 1, January 2008
Article Number 17007
Number of page(s) 5
Section Condensed Matter: Electronic Structure, Electrical, Magnetic and Optical Properties
Published online 22 November 2007
EPL, 81 (2008) 17007
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/81/17007

Surface effects on oxide heterostructures

U. Schwingenschlögl and C. Schuster

Institut für Physik, Universität Augsburg - 86135 Augsburg, Germany

received 3 August 2007; accepted in final form 31 October 2007; published January 2008
published online 22 November 2007

We report on surface effects on the electronic properties of interfaces in epitaxial LaAlO3/SrTiO3 heterostructures. Our results are based on first-principles electronic structure calculations for well-relaxed multilayer configurations, terminated by an ultrathin LaAlO3 surface layer. On varying the thickness of this layer, we find that the interface conduction states are subject to almost rigid band shifts due to a modified Fermi energy. Confirming experimental data, the electronic properties of heterointerfaces therefore can be tuned systematically by alterating the surface-interface distance. We expect that this mechanism is very general and applies to most oxide heterostructures.

73.20.-r - Electron states at surfaces and interfaces.
73.20.At - Surface states, band structure, electron density of states.
73.40.Kp - III-V semiconductor-to-semiconductor contacts, p-n junctions, and heterojunctions.

© EPLA 2008