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Chemically pure thin films of HfO2, as well as other transition metal (TM) and rare earth (RE) elemental and complex oxides, e.g., LaScO3 and LaAlO3, are nanocrystalline as-deposited. The local bonding environments of TM and RE atoms are distorted with respect to ideal octahedral or cubic bonding, and degeneracies of the respective band edge d-states are completely removed by Jahn-Teller (J-T) distortions. Spectroscopic studies have revealed J-T term splittings, and additionally two localized states. The first is associated with an electronically-active defect at the nanocrystalline grain boundaries and the second with O-atom vacancies. These states are different energies within the band gaps of HfO2 and ZrO2.
Date of Conference: 12-16 Sept. 2005