Indexed on: 18 Jan '17Published on: 18 Jan '17Published in: Scientific Reports
Samarium nickelate (SmNiO3) thin films were successfully synthesized on LaAlO3 and SrTiO3 substrates using pulsed-laser deposition. The Mott metal-insulator (MI) transition of the thin films is sensitive to epitaxial strain and strain relaxation. Once the strain changes from compressive to tensile, the transition temperature of the SmNiO3 samples shifts to slightly higher values. The optical conductivity reveals the strong dependence of the Drude spectral weight on the strain relaxation. Actually, compressive strain broadens the bandwidth. In contrast, tensile strain causes the effective number of free carriers to reduce which is consistent with the d-band narrowing.