Intrinsic high electrical conductivity of stoichiometric SrNbO3 epitaxial thin films

Research paper by Daichi Oka, Yasushi Hirose, Shoichiro Nakao, Tomoteru Fukumura, Tetsuya Hasegawa

Indexed on: 11 Dec '15Published on: 11 Dec '15Published in: Physics - Materials Science


SrVO3 and SrNbO3 are perovskite-type transition-metal oxides with the same d1 electronic configuration. Although SrNbO3 (4d1) has a larger d orbital than SrVO3 (3d1), the reported electrical resistivity of SrNbO3 is much higher than that of SrVO3, probably owing to nonstoichiometry. In this paper, we grew epitaxial, high-conductivity stoichiometric SrNbO3 using pulsed laser deposition. The growth temperature strongly affected the Sr/Nb ratio and the oxygen content of the films, and we obtained stoichiometric SrNbO3 at a very narrow temperature window around 630 ${\deg}$C. The stoichiometric SrNbO3 epitaxial thin films grew coherently on KTaO3 (001) substrates with high crystallinity. The room-temperature resistivity of the stoichiometric film was $2.82 {\times} 10^{-5} {\Omega}$cm, one order of magnitude lower than the lowest reported value of SrNbO3 and comparable with that of SrVO3. We observed a T-square dependence of resistivity below $T^{\ast}$ = 180 K and non-Drude behavior in near-infrared absorption spectroscopy, attributable to the Fermi-liquid nature caused by electron correlation. Analysis of the T-square coefficient A of resistivity experimentally revealed that the 4d orbital of Nb that is larger than the 3d ones certainly contributes to the high electrical conduction of SrNbO3.