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Pentcheva, Rossitza; Arras, R.; Otte, Katrin; Ruiz, Victor G.; Pickett, Warren E. (2012): Termination control of electronic phases in oxide thin films and interfaces: LaAlO 3/SrTiO 3(001). In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, Vol. 370, No. 1977: pp. 4904-4926


A wealth of intriguing properties emerge in the seemingly simple system composed of the band insulators LaAlO 3 and SrTiO 3 such as a two-dimensional electron gas, superconductivity and magnetism. In this paper, we review the current insight obtained from first principles calculations on the mechanisms governing the behaviour of thin LaAlO 3 films on SrTiO 3(001). In particular, we explore the strong dependence of the electronic properties on the surface and interface termination, the finite film thickness, lattice polarization and defects. A further aspect that is addressed is how the electronic behaviour and functionality can be tuned by an SrTiO 3 capping layer, adsorbates and metallic contacts. Lastly, we discuss recent reports on the coexistence of magnetism and superconductivity in this system for what they might imply about the electronic structure of this system.