Spatial distribution of oxygen vacancies in Cr-doped SrTiO3 during an electric-field-driven insulator-to-metal transition

Andreasson, B. P.; Janousch, M.; Staub, U.; Meijer, G. I.
January 2009
Applied Physics Letters;1/5/2009, Vol. 94 Issue 1, p013513
Academic Journal
Spatially resolved x-ray fluorescence maps are presented that show the introduction and the evolution of oxygen vacancies in chromium-doped strontium titanate during an electric-field-driven insulator-to-metal transition. The vacancies are introduced at the anode and diffuse through the crystal toward the cathode. The spatial distribution of vacancies is explained by a model describing the electrical breakdown as a percolation process. Strong differences in the vacancy distribution were found when the transition took place in air and in a hydrogen-enriched atmosphere. In air, the vacancies disappeared from the surface, whereas in the reducing hydrogen atmosphere, they remained at the surface.


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