Direct experimental evidence of physical origin of electronic phase separation in manganites

Tian Miao, Lina Deng, Wenting Yang, Jinyang Ni, Changlin Zheng, Joanne Etheridge, Shasha Wang, Hao Liu, Hanxuan Lin, Yang Yu, Qian Shi, Peng Cai, Yinyan Zhu, Tieying Yang, Xingmin Zhang, Xingyu Gao, Chuanying Xi, Mingliang Tian, Xiaoshan Wu, Hongjun XiangElbio Dagotto, Lifeng Yin, Jian Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Electronic phase separation in complex oxides is the inhomogeneous spatial distribution of electronic phases, involving length scales much larger than those of structural defects or nonuniform distribution of chemical dopants. While experimental efforts focused on phase separation and established its correlation with nonlinear responses under external stimuli, it remains controversial whether phase separation requires quenched disorder for its realization. Early theory predicted that if perfectly "clean" samples could be grown, both phase separation and nonlinearities would be replaced by a bicritical-like phase diagram. Here, using a layer-by-layer superlattice growth technique we fabricate a fully chemically ordered "tricolor" manganite superlattice, and compare its properties with those of isovalent alloyed manganite films. Remarkably, the fully ordered manganite does not exhibit phase separation, while its presence is pronounced in the alloy. This suggests that chemical-dopinginduced disorder is crucial to stabilize the potentially useful nonlinear responses of manganites, as theory predicted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7090-7094
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2020


  • Chemical ordering
  • Electronic phase separation
  • Manganites
  • Tricolor superlattice

Cite this