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Color Centers and Jahn-Teller Effect in Ionic Crystals—My Scientific Encounters with Alex Müller

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Ferroelectricity, Superconductivity, and SrTiO3—Passions of K.A. Müller

Department of Quantum Matter Physics, University of Geneva, 24 Quai Ernest-Ansermet, 1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Condens. Matter 2020, 5(4), 60;
Received: 9 September 2020 / Revised: 7 October 2020 / Accepted: 13 October 2020 / Published: 15 October 2020
SrTiO3 is an insulating material which, using chemical doping, pressure, strain or isotope substitution, can be turned into a ferroelectric material or into a superconductor. The material itself, and the two aforementioned phenomena, have been subjects of intensive research of Karl Alex Müller and have been a source of inspiration, among other things, for his Nobel prize-winning research on high temperature superconductivity. An intriguing outstanding question is whether the occurrence of ferroelectricity and superconductivity in the same material is just a coincidence, or whether a deeper connection exists. In addition there is the empirical question of how these two phenomena interact with each other. Here we show that it is possible to induce superconductivity in a two-dimensional layer at the interface of SrTiO3 and LaAlO3 when we make the SrTiO3 ferroelectric by means of 18O substitution. Our experiments indicate that the ferroelectricity is perfectly compatible with having a superconducting two-dimensional electron system at the interface. This provides a promising avenue for manipulating superconductivity in a non centrosymmetric environment.
Keywords: ferroelectricity; superconductivity; SrTiO3; 18O; isotope substitution; SrTiO3/LaAlO3; interface; heterostructure ferroelectricity; superconductivity; SrTiO3; 18O; isotope substitution; SrTiO3/LaAlO3; interface; heterostructure
MDPI and ACS Style

Scheerer, G.; Boselli, M.; Pulmannova, D.; Rischau, C.W.; Waelchli, A.; Gariglio, S.; Giannini, E.; Marel, D.; Triscone, J.-M. Ferroelectricity, Superconductivity, and SrTiO3—Passions of K.A. Müller. Condens. Matter 2020, 5, 60.

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