The evolution of the electronic structures of strongly correlated insulators with doping has long been a central fundamental question in condensed matter physics; it is also of great practical relevance for applications. We have studied the evolution of NiO under hole and electron doping at low doping levels such that the system remains insulating using high-quality thin film and a wide range of experimental and theoretical methods. The evolution is in both cases very smooth with dopant concentration. The band gap is asymmetric under electron and hole doping, consistent with a charge-transfer insulator picture, and is reduced faster under hole doping than under electron doping. For both electron and hole doping, occupied states are introduced at the top of the valence band. The formation of deep donor levels under electron doping and the inability to pin otherwise empty states near the conduction-band edge are indicative that local electron addition and removal energies are dominated by a Mott-like Hubbard U interaction even though the global band gap is predominantly a charge-transfer-type gap.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics