Engineering two-dimensional superconductivity and Rashba spin-orbit coupling in LaAlO3/SrTiO3 quantum wells by selective orbital occupancy

by Gervasi Herranz, Gyanendra Singh, Nicolas Bergeal, Alexis Jouan, Jérôme Lesueur, Jaume Gázquez, María Varela, Mateusz Scigaj, Nico Dix, Florencio Sánchez and Josep Fontcuberta

The discovery of two-dimensional electron gases (2DEGs) at oxide interfaces—involving electrons in narrow d-bands—has broken new ground, enabling the access to correlated states that are unreachable in conventional semiconductors based on s- and p- electrons. There is a growing consensus that emerging properties at these novel quantum wells—such as 2D superconductivity and magnetism—are intimately connected to specific orbital symmetries in the 2DEG sub-band structure. Here we show that crystal orientation allows selective orbital occupancy, disclosing unprecedented ways to tailor the 2DEG properties. By carrying out electrostatic gating experiments in LaAlO3/SrTiO3 wells of different crystal orientations, we show that the spatial extension and anisotropy of the 2D superconductivity and the Rashba spin–orbit field can be largely modulated by controlling the 2DEG sub-band filling. Such an orientational tuning expands the possibilities for electronic engineering of 2DEGs at LaAlO3/SrTiO3 interfaces.

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