Creation and control of a two-dimensional electron liquid at the bare SrTiO3 surface

Worawat Meevasana, Phil King, R. H. He, S-K. Mo, M. Hashimoto, Anna Tamai, P. Songsiriritthigul, Felix Baumberger, Z-X. Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

441 Citations (Scopus)


Many-body interactions in transition-metal oxides give rise to a wide range of functional properties, such as high-temperature superconductivity(1), colossal magnetoresistance(2) or multiferroicity(3). The seminal recent discovery of a two-dimensional electron gas (2DEG) at the interface of the insulating oxides LaAlO3 and SrTiO3 (ref. 4) represents an important milestone towards exploiting such properties in all-oxide devices(5). This conducting interface shows a number of appealing properties, including a high electron mobility(4,6), superconductivity(7) and large magnetoresistance(8), and can be patterned on the few-nanometre length scale. However, the microscopic origin of the interface 2DEG is poorly understood. Here, we show that a similar 2DEG, with an electron density as large as 8 x 10(13) cm(-2), can be formed at the bare SrTiO3 surface. Furthermore, we find that the 2DEG density can be controlled through exposure of the surface to intense ultraviolet light. Subsequent angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy measurements reveal an unusual coexistence of a light quasiparticle mass and signatures of strong many-body interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-118
Number of pages5
JournalNature Materials
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011




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