Saturday, January 21, 2017

Abstract-Terahertz spectroscopy of PrNiO3 thin films: Strain induced anomalous conductivity, giant dielectric constant, and scaling of optical constants

V. Eswara Phanindra, Sarmistha Das, K. Santhosh Kumar, Piyush Agarwal, Rakesh Rana, and D. S. Rana

The interplay of charge, spin, and lattice correlations strongly influence the insulator-metal (I-M) transition and magnetic ordering in rare earth nickelates. In this context, we explored the low-energy charge dynamics in structurally modulated PrNiO3 thin films to unravel the complexity of ground state across I-M transition using terahertz (THz) spectroscopy. The THz optical constants of compressive film on LaAlO3 (100) substrate and the tensile films on NdGaO3 (100), (001), (110) and (111) substrates with varying orthorhombic distortion exhibit remarkably distinct features as a function of frequency and temperature. The THz conductivity of compressive film sans any I-M transition follows the Drude model. In contrast, the tensile strained films exhibit non-Drude THz conductivity, a giant positive dielectric permittivity and negative imaginary conductivity, all of which can be explained by Drude-Smith model. This rich variety of low energy dynamics manifest as a function of temperature, strain and crystal orientation. Such distinct THz spectral features, as induced by a subtle variation in strain while crossing over from tensile to compressive strain and with varying degree of orthorhombicity coupled with oxygen vacancies, reveal a novel facet of structure-property relationship of PrNiO3.

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