Nanometer-scale phase separation in a colossal magnetoresistive manganiteS. Rößler1, S. Ernst1, B. Padmanabhan2, Suja Elizabeth2, H. L. Bhat2, F. Steglich1 and S. Wirth1
1 Max-Planck-Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids - Nöthnitzer Straße 40, 01187 Dresden, Germany, EU
2 Department of Physics, Indian Institute of Science - Bangalore 560012, India
received 5 May 2008; accepted in final form 4 June 2008; published July 2008
published online 13 June 2008
Scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy were conducted over a broad temperature range on single crystals of Pr0.68Pb0.32MnO3. Spectroscopic studies revealed inhomogeneous maps of the zero-bias conductance with a broad distribution of the local conductivities only within a narrow temperature range close to the metal-insulator transition. An analysis of the conductance histograms based on these maps gave direct evidence for phase separation into insulating and conducting areas. This phase separation was found to be confined only to the transition region.
75.47.Lx - Manganites.
71.30.+h - Metal-insulator transitions and other electronic transitions.
68.37.Ef - Scanning tunneling microscopy (including chemistry induced with STM).
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