Complex functional oxide heterostructures
This article presents a review of some salient aspects of a broad class of functional materials, namely complex oxides. These materials, exemplified by the rare earth manganites, superconducting cuprates and more recently multiferroics, are characterized by a complex crystal chemistry, that is central to competing/ cooperating spin, charge, orbital and lattice degrees of freedom. In addition to this, a fundamental defining feature of such materials is the complex nanoscale phase coexistence that appears to be central to the appearance of large responses. The emergence of pulsed laser deposition as a tool to create artificially engineered heterostructures has provided researchers with a powerful approach to create new states of matter at such heterointerfaces. This combined with modern X-ray, electron, neutron and proximal probes (such as conducting AFM, piezoresponse SPM, etc) and ab initio theoretical studies has provided us with deep insight into the various physical phenomena that manifest themselves in such materials.
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