Unraveling bulk and grain boundary electrical properties in La0.8Sr0.2Mn1−yO3±δ thin films

F. Chiabrera, I. Garbayo, D. Pla, M. Burriel, F. Wilhelm, A. Rogalev, M. Núñez, A. Morata, A. Tarancón
APL Materials, 7(1): 013205, 2019



Grain boundaries in Sr-doped LaMnO3±δ thin films have been shown to strongly influence the electronic and oxygen mass transport properties, being able to profoundly modify the nature of the material. The unique behavior of the grain boundaries can be correlated with substantial modifications of the cation concentration at the interfaces, which can be tuned by changing the overall cationic ratio in the films. In this work, we study the electronic properties of La0.8Sr0.2Mn1−yO3±δ thin films with variable Mn content. The influence of the cationic composition on the grain boundary and grain bulk electronic properties is elucidated by studying the manganese valence state evolution using spectroscopy techniques and by confronting the electronic properties of epitaxial and polycrystalline films. Substantial differences in the electronic conduction mechanism are found in the presence of grain boundaries and depending on the manganese content. Moreover, the unique defect chemistry of the nanomaterial is elucidated by measuring the electrical resistance of the thin films as a function of oxygen partial pressure, disclosing the importance of the cationic local non-stoichiometry on the thin film behavior.