Electronic Structure and Band Alignment at Epitaxial Co3O4/SrTiO3 Heterojunction
Liang Qiao, Wei Li, Haiyan xiao, Harry M. Meyer, Xuelei Liang, Nhan V. Nguyen, Michael D. Biegalski
The electronic properties of solid-solid interfaces play critical roles in a variety of technological applications. Recent advance of film epitaxy and characterization techniques have demonstrated a wealthy of exotic phenomena at interfaces of oxide materials, which are critically dependent on the lineup of their energy bands across the interface. Here we report a combined photoemission and electrical investigation of the electronic structures across a prototypical spinel/perovskite heterojunction. Energy-level band alignment at epitaxial Co3O4/SrTiO3(001) heterointerface indicates a chemically abrupt, type-I heterojunction without detectable band bending at both film and substrate. The unexpected band alignment for this typical p-type semiconductor on SrTiO3 is attributed to its intrinsic d-d interband excitations, which significantly narrows the fundamental band gap between the top of the valence band and the bottom of the conduction band. The formation of the type-I heterojunction with a flat-band state results in a simultaneous confinement of both electrons and holes inside the Co3O4 layer, thus rendering the epitaxial Co3O4/SrTiO3(001) heterostructure to be a very promising material for high-efficiency luminescence and optoelectronic device applications.