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Infinite-layer nickelates

The recent discovery of superconductivity in nickel-oxide systems has been the result of a decades-long search and has sparked great excitement, as well as numerous experimental and theoretical studies  that aim to understand these systems further [1]. So far, superconducting nickel-oxides have been stabilised in thin-film form. This is done by depositing a perovskite rare-earth nickelate RNiO3 (R = Nd, Pr, La) hole-doped with Sr or Ca, and reducing it to the infinite-layer phase using a soft chemistry process called topotactic reduction [2,3].

Fig 1. from Nature volume 572, pages 624–627 (2019)

Fig 3. from Nature volume 572, pages 624–627 (2019)

In Geneva, we synthesise rare-earth nickelate thin films and heterostructures using off-axis RF magnetron sputtering and we research novel ways to dope these systems. Benefiting from fruitful international collaborations, we use topotactic reduction to reach the infinite-layer phase and study the electronic properties of this phase.

[1] D. Li et al, Nature 572, 624-627 (2019)

[2] M. A. Hayward et al, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 121, 8843-8854 (1999)

[3] M. Kawai et al, Appl. Phys. Lett. 94, 082102 (2009)

Main researchers

Claribel Dominguez, Marios Hadjimichael, Adrien Waelchli, Lucia Varbaro