Faculty of Physics

Transition Metal Oxide

If you arrange transition metal ions, such as manganese or nickel, instead of carbon atoms in a honeycomb lattice in an oxide heterostructure along unusual (111) crystallographic lines, it creates unique material properties that may be more diverse than the currently widely-used graphene. These are the proven results of quantum mechanical simulations from Prof. Rossitza Pentcheva’s research group in a DFG-funded project in SFB/TR80. Thanks to their highly interactive electrons, transition metal oxides offer brand new opportunities as they can assume different magnetic and electronic states. The quantum mechanical simulations proved that nickelate is an antiferro magnet with unique orbital alignment that does not occur in volumes. Even more exciting is lanthanum manganite, which is a candidate for a so-called Chern insulator under certain conditions. The latter are special types of topological phases that are ferromagnetic and, as a result, do not rely on external magnetic fields and are interesting for future applications such as the quantum computer or low power electronics.