Indexed on: 26 Mar '13Published on: 26 Mar '13Published in: Journal of physics. Condensed matter : an Institute of Physics journal
Our study shows that extrinsic disorder plays a decisive role in shaping inhomogeneities at large length scales in phase separated systems. Epitaxial La5/8-yPryCa3/8MnO3 (y = 0.45) thin films grown on SrTiO3, LaAlO3 and NdGaO3 substrates exhibited comparable biaxial strain while showing markedly dissimilar extrinsic disorder. Compressively strained film on LaAlO3 is found to be free from extrinsic disorder and has a robust insulating phase with small phase separation while film grown on SrTiO3 shows huge extrinsic disorder due to the strain relaxation process which invokes phase separation at a large length scale that is sufficient to cross the percolation threshold and cause a metal-insulator transition.