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      Volume 70, Issue 2

      February 2008,   pages  191-379

    • Editorial

      R Prasad S A Ramakrishna

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    • Tunable two-phase coexistence in half-doped manganites

      P Chaddah A Banerjee

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      We discuss our very interesting experimental observation that the low-temperature two-phase coexistence in half-doped manganites is multi-valued (at any field) in that we can tune the coexisting antiferromagnetic-insulating (AF-I) and the ferromagnetic-metallic (FM-M) phase fractions by following different paths in ($H; T$) space. We have shown experimentally that the phase fraction, in this two-phase coexistence, can take continuous infinity of values. All but one of these are metastable, and two-phase coexistence is not an equilibrium state.

    • Fluctuation theorems and orbital magnetism in nonequilibrium state

      A M Jayannavar Mamata Sahoo

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      We study Langevin dynamics of a driven charged particle in the presence as well as in the absence of magnetic field. We discuss the validity of various work fluctuation theorems using different model potentials and external drives. We also show that one can generate an orbital magnetic moment in a nonequilibrium state which is absent in equilibrium.

    • Localization in disordered systems with interactions

      Angus MacKinnon

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      We present an improved numerical approach to the study of disorder and interactions in quasi-1D systems which combines aspects of the transfer matrix method and the density matrix renormalization group which have been successfully applied to disorder and interacting problems respectively. The method is applied to spinless fermions in 1D and a generalization to finite cross-sections is outlined.

    • Short-range order and its effect on the electronic structure of binary alloys: CuZn - a case study

      Abhijit Mookerjee Kartick Tarafder Atisdipankar Chakrabarti Kamal Krishna Saha

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      We discuss an application of the generalized augmented space method introduced by one of us combined with the recursion method of Haydock et al (GASR) to the study of electronic structure and optical properties of random binary alloys. As an example, we have taken the 50-50 CuZn alloy, where neutron scattering indicates the existence of short-range order.

    • Direct angle resolved photoemission spectroscopy and superconductivity of strained high-$T_{c}$ films

      Davor Pavuna Daniel Ariosa Dominique Cloetta Claudia Cancellieri Mike Abrecht

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      Since 1997 we systematically perform direct angle resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES) on in-situ grown thin ($< 30$ nm) cuprate films. Specifically, we probe low-energy electronic structure and properties of high-$T_{c}$ superconductors (HTSC) under different degrees of epitaxial (compressive vs. tensile) strain. In overdoped and underdoped in-plane compressed (the strain is induced by the choice of substrate) $\simeq 15$ nm thin La$_{2-x}$Sr$_{x}$CuO4 (LSCO) films we almost double $T_{c}$ to 40 K, from 20 K and 24 K, respectively. Yet the Fermi surface (FS) remains essentially two-dimensional. In contrast, ARPES data under tensile strain exhibit the dispersion that is three-dimensional, yet $T_{c}$ drastically decreases. It seems that the in-plane compressive strain tends to push the apical oxygen far away from the CuO2 plane, enhances the two-dimensional character of the dispersion and increases $T_{c}$, while the tensile strain acts in the opposite direction and the resulting dispersion is three-dimensional. We have established the shape of the FS for both cases, and all our data are consistent with other ongoing studies, like EXAFS. As the actual lattice of cuprates is like a `Napoleon-cake', i.e. rigid CuO2 planes alternating with softer `reservoir', that distort differently under strain, our data rule out all oversimplified two-dimensional (rigid lattice) mean field models. The work is still in progress on optimized La-doped Bi-2201 ¯lms with enhanced $T_{c}$.

    • Bond constraint theory and the quest for the glass computer

      S C Agarwal M A Paesler D A Baker P C Taylor G Lucovsky A Edwards

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      Electronic switching in amorphous chalcogenide semiconductors has been observed and studied for nearly forty years. Technological exploitation of this phenomenon has most recently emerged in DVD's where GST, a compound of germanium, antimony, and tellurium, is used to store information. We explain how GST behaves as a switch and how X-ray absorption fine structure can be used to unlock the specifics of the switching process. The tool that leads to this deeper understanding is the bond constraint theory. We explain how this theory leads to an explanation of switching and of the behavior and properties of amorphous materials in general. Finally, the prospects for developing GST-related materials into non-volatile memory media that could be the basis for glass computers are discussed.

    • Defects in semiconductor nanostructures

      Vijay A Singh Manoj K Harbola Praveen Pathak

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      Impurities play a pivotal role in semiconductors. One part in a million of phosphorous in silicon alters the conductivity of the latter by several orders of magnitude. Indeed, the information age is possible only because of the unique role of shallow impurities in semiconductors. Although work in semiconductor nanostructures (SN) has been in progress for the past two decades, the role of impurities in them has been only sketchily studied. We outline theoretical approaches to the electronic structure of shallow impurities in SN and discuss their limitations. We find that shallow levels undergo a SHADES (SHAllow-DEep-Shallow) transition as the SN size is decreased. This occurs because of the combined effect of quantum confinement and reduced dielectric constant in SN. Level splitting is pronounced and this can perhaps be probed by ESR and ENDOR techniques. Finally, we suggest that a perusal of literature on (semiconductor) cluster calculations carried out 30 years ago would be useful.

    • A first-principles study of phase transitions in ultrathin films of BaTiO3

      J Paul T Nishimatsu Y Kawazoe U V Waghmare

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      We determine the effects of film thickness, epitaxial strain and the nature of electrodes on ferroelectric phase transitions in ultrathin films of BaTiO3 using a first-principles effective Hamiltonian in classical molecular dynamics simulations. We present results for polarization and dielectric properties as a function of temperature and epitaxial strain, leading to size-dependent temperature-strain phase diagram for the films sandwiched between `perfect' electrodes. In the presence of non-vanishing depolarization fields when non-ideal electrodes are used, we show that a stable stripe-domain phase is obtained at low temperatures. The electrostatic images in the presence of electrodes and their interaction with local dipoles in the film explain these observed phenomena.

    • Bound values for Hall conductivity of heterogeneous medium under quantum Hall effect conditions

      V E Arkhincheev

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      Bound values for Hall conductivity under quantum Hall effect (QHE) conditions in inhomogeneous medium has been studied. It is shown that bound values for Hall conductivity differ from bound values for metallic conductivity. This is due to the unusual character of current percolation under quantum Hall effect conditions.

    • A mean field approach to Coulomb blockade for a disordered assembly of quantum dots

      Akashdeep Kamra Praveen Pathak Vijay A Singh

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      The Coulomb blockade (CB) in quantum dots (QDs) is by now well documented. It has been used to guide the fabrication of single electron transistors. Even the most sophisticated techniques for synthesizing QDs (e.g. MOCVD/MBE) result in an assembly in which a certain amount of disorder is inevitable. On the other hand, theoretical approaches to CB limit themselves to an analysis of a single QD. In the present work we consider two types of disorders: (i) size disorder; e.g. QDs have a distribution of sizes which could be unimodal or bimodal in nature. (ii) Potential disorder with the confining potential assuming a variety of shapes depending on growth condition and external fields. We assume a Gaussian distribution in disorder in both size and potential and employ a simplified mean field theory. To do this we rely on the scaling laws for the CB (also termed as Hubbard 𝑈) obtained for an isolated QD [1]. We analyze the distribution in the Hubbard 𝑈 as a consequence of disorder and observe that Coulomb blockade is partially suppressed by the disorder. Further, the distribution in 𝑈 is a skewed Gaussian with enhanced broadening.

    • Quasi-particle properties in a quasi-two-dimensional electron liquid

      R Asgari B Tanatar

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      We consider the quasi-particle properties such as the effective mass and spin susceptibility of quasi-two-dimensional electron systems. The finite quantum well width effects are incorporated into the local-field factors that describe the charge and spin correlations. We employ the Fermi-hypernetted chain formalism in conjunction with fluctuation-dissipation theorem to obtain the local-field factors. Our results are in good agreement with recent experiments.

    • Charge density of Ga$_{x}$Al$_{1-x}$Sb

      K B Joshi Nishant N Patel

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      Charge density calculations and electronic band structures for Ga$_{x}$Al$_{1-x}$Sb with $x = 1.0, 0.5$ and 0.0 are presented in this work. The calculations are performed using the empirical pseudopotential method. The charge density is computed for a number of planes, i.e. $z = 0:0, 0.125$ and $0.25 A_{0}$ by generating the potential through a number of potential parameters available in the literature. The virtual crystal approximation was applied for the semiconducting alloy. The characteristics of the band structure and charge density are observed to be affected by the potential parameters. Calculated band gaps and the nature of gaps are in good agreement with the experimental data reported. The ionicity is also reasonably in good agreement with other scales proposed in the literature; however the formulation needs to be improved. The present work also demands indirect experimental band gap for the alloy.

    • Structural study of Novel (superhard) material: NiO

      Raja Chauhan Sadhna Singh

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      We have investigated the pressure-induced phase transition of NiO and other structural properties using three-body potential approach. NiO undergoes phase transition from B1 (rocksalt) to B2 (CsCl) structure associated with a sudden collapse in volume showing first-order phase transition. A theoretical study of high pressure phase transition and elastic behaviour in transition metal compounds using a three-body potential caused by the electron shell deformation of the overlapping ion was carried out. The phase transition pressure and other properties predicted by our model is closer to the phase transition pressure predicted by Eto et al.

    • Re-dispersible Li+ and Eu3+ co-doped CdS nanoparticles: Luminescence studies

      N S Gajbhiye Raghumani Singh Ninghoujam Asar Ahmed D K Panda S S Umare S J Sharma

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      Re-dispersible CdS, 5 at.% Eu3+-doped CdS, 2 at.% Li+ and 5 at.% Eu3+ co-doped CdS nanoparticles in organic solvent are prepared by urea hydrolysis in ethylene glycol medium at a low temperature of 170°C. CdS nanoparticles have spherical shape with a diameter of $\sim 80$ nm. The asymmetric ratio ($A_{21}$) of the integrated intensities of the electrical dipole transition to the magnetic dipole transition for 5 at.% Eu3+-doped CdS is found to be 3.8 and this ratio is significantly decreased for 2 at.% Li+ and 5 at.% Eu3+ co-doped CdS ($A_{21} = 2.6$). It establishes that the symmetry environment of Eu3+ ion is more favored by Li-doping. Extra peak at 550 nm (green emission) could be seen for 2 and 5 at.% Eu3+ co-doped CdS. Also, the significant energy transfer from host CdS to Eu3+ is found for 5 at.% Eu3+-doped CdS compared to that for 2 at.% Li+ and 5 at.% Eu3+ co-doped CdS.

    • Compton profile study of V3Ge and Cr3Ge

      Y C Sharma V Vyas V Purvia K B Joshi B K Sharma

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      In this paper the results of a Compton profile study of two polycrystalline A15 compounds, namely, V3Ge and Cr3Ge, have been reported. The measurements have been performed using 59.54 keV 𝛾-rays from an 241Am source. The theoretical Compton profiles have been computed for both the compounds using ab-initio linear combination of atomic orbitals (LCAO) method employing CRYSTAL98. For both the A15 compounds, the isotropic experimental profiles are found to be in good overall agreement with the calculations. The comparison points out residual differences in V3Ge whereas for Cr3Ge the differences are within experimental error. The behaviour of valence electrons in the two iso-structural compounds has been examined on the scale of Fermi momentum. The valence electron distribution seems to be dominated by the metallic constituents rather than Ge and two compounds show covalent nature of bonding which is larger in V3Ge compared to Cr3Ge.

    • Some unusual electronic patterns on graphite surface

      Shyam K Choudhury Anjan K Gupta

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      We report on the observation of some unusual electronic patterns on a graphite surface using scanning tunneling spectroscopy (STM). We attribute these patterns to different types of strain near the surface. One such pattern seen on a particular layer comprises of two-dimensional spatially varying super-lattice and one-dimensional fringes. This pattern is present in a finite region of a layer on the surface confined between two carbon fibers. We attribute this spatially varying super-lattice structure to the shear strain generated in the top layer due to the restraining fibers. We have also developed a model with the Moirµe rotation hypothesis that gives us a better insight into such large-scale spatially varying patterns. We have been able to model the above-observed pattern. We also report another pattern near a defect, which we attribute to the change in density of states due to the physical buckling of the top graphite layer. Part of this buckled layer is found to be buried under another layer and this region shows a reversed contrast and thus supporting our idea of buckling. We also performed tunneling spectroscopy measurements on various regions of these patterns which show significant variations in the density of states.

    • Transport and stability studies on high band gap a-Si:H films prepared by argon dilution

      Purabi Gogoi P N Dixit Pratima Agarwal

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      Device quality hydrogenated amorphous silicon films (a-Si:H) are deposited at a high deposition rate (4-5 Å/s) using a mixture of argon and hydrogen-diluted silane. The films exhibit good opto-electronic properties and show less degradation upon light soaking. Light-induced changes in conductivity could be annealed at much lower temperature. The presence of Ar* and atomic hydrogen in plasma replaces the weak Si-Si bonds, which are responsible for light-induced degradation by strong Si-Si bonds. This results in the improved stability of the films.

    • Doping and bond length contributions to Mn K-edge shift in La$_{1-x}$Sr$_{x}$MnO3 ($x=0-0.7$) and their correlation with electrical transport properties

      S K Pandey R Bindu Ashwini Kumar S Khalid A V Pimpale

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      The room temperature experimental Mn K-edge X-ray absorption spectra of La$_{1-x}$Sr$_{x}$MnO3 ($x = 0-0.7$) are compared with the band structure calculations using spin polarized density functional theory. It is explicitly shown that the observed shift in the energy of Mn K-edge on substitution of divalent Sr on trivalent La sites corresponds to the shift in the center of gravity of the unoccupied Mn $4p$-band contributing to the Mn K-absorption edge region. This correspondence is then used to separate the doping and size contributions to the edge shift due to variation in the number of electrons in valence band and Mn-O bond lengths, respectively, when Sr is doped into LaMnO3. Such separation is helpful to find the localization behaviour of charge carriers and to understand the observed transport properties of these compounds.

    • Observation of exchange bias and spin-glass-like ordering in 𝜀-Fe2.8Cr0.2N nanoparticles

      N S Gajbhiye Sayan Bhattacharyya Sachil Sharma

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      Nanoparticles of 𝜀-Fe2.8Cr0.2N system exhibit the exchange bias phenomenon due to the exchange coupling of the spins of the antiferromagnetic (AF) oxide/oxynitride surface layer and the ferromagnetic (FM) nitride core. Exchange bias is observed at 10 K both in the absence and presence of cooling field. Due to the interface disorder, a mixture of parallel and anti-parallel/perpendicular coupling of the AF and FM spins is observed. The roughness of AF-FM interface induces disorder due to the random exchange anisotropy. The saturation magnetization is also found to be drastically lowered as compared to parent 𝜀-Fe3N. Below 58 K, the broad peak ($T_{E} \cong T_{f}$) in zero-field cooled (ZFC) magnetization curves indicates the presence of unidirectional anisotropy and spin-glass-like ordering, that arises from the freezing of localized frustrated spins.

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