Airy-function electron localization in the oxide superlattices
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Oxide superlattices and microstructures hold the promise for creating a new class of devices with unprecedented functionalities. Density-functional studies of the recently fabricated superlattices of lattice-matched perovskite titanates (SrTiO3)n/(LaTiO3)m reveal a classic wedge-shaped potential originating from the Coulomb potential of a charged sheet of La atoms. The potential in turn confines the electrons in the vicinity of the sheet, leading to an Airy-function localization of the electron states. Magnetism is suppressed for structures with a single LaTiO3 monolayer, while the bulk antiferromagnetism is recovered in the structures with a thicker LaTiO3, with a narrow transition region separating the magnetic LaTiO3 and the non-magnetic SrTiO3.