Physical Review B - CMMP

Controlled oxygen vacancies and space correlation with Cr3+ in SrTiO3

View publication


By means of electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) measurements on thermally reduced Cr-doped SrTiO3, we find a strong correlation between the Cr3+ ions and oxygen vacancies (Vo s). A charge compensation associated with the creation of Vo s induced by thermal reduction causes the valence of the Cr ions to change from 4+ to 3+. This induces a symmetry change in the crystal field experienced by the Cr atom from cubic to axial. On the other hand, in Cr/Nb-codoped samples, where Vo s are absent, the Cr3+ EPR signal is isotropic, indicating that these Cr ions occupy an octahedral site of cubic symmetry. From the angular dependence of the EPR spectra we determine an axial crystal field parameter (D8MHz), which is consistent with a perturbation induced by a Vo localized at the third coordination sphere of Cr3+. This is in contrast to other transition-metal dopants, where the Vo is located at the first coordination sphere. Thus we identify a linear complex of the form Cr3+ -O-Ti 3+ -Vo -Ti3+, which is unique in its structure, and which, furthermore, might account for the stabilization of the insulating state in reduced Cr-doped SrTiO3 crystals. © 2009 The American Physical Society.