This research focuses on growing and characterizing transition metal oxide heterostructures to harness the functionality of the quasi-two-dimensional electron gas (Q2DEG). The Q2DEG is known to form at the heterointerface between LaAlO3 and SrTiO3, yielding the interesting and technologically relevant result of an electronically conductive interface between two band insulators. However, the formation mechanism of the Q2DEG is debated and attributed to three possible explanations: interfacial polarity discontinuity causing an electron reconfiguration, oxygen vacancies, or ionic transfer. We aim to understand how Q2DEGs are realized in a variety of metal oxide systems and which mechanism (or mechanisms) lends to the formation of the interfacial conductivity. Experimental techniques used in this research include molecular beam epitaxy and atomic layer deposition for film growth along with in-situ chracterization by x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and reflection high energy electron diffraction.
Contact: Thong Ngo <ngoquangthongphucat (at) yahoo.com> and Bryce Edmondson <bryceedmondson (at) utexas.edu>