In recent decades, extensive studies have been conducted on controlling and engineering novel functionalities in transition metal oxide (TMO) heterostructures by epitaxial strain. In this chapter, we discuss popular transition metal oxide thin films in the context of various research fields that are extensively studied in condensed matter physics. These materials include La1.85Sr0.15CuO4 (a high temperature superconductor), SrRuO3 (a highly conductive ferromagnetic metal), La0.67Sr0.33MnO3 (a colossal magnetoresistive ferromagnetic metal), BiFeO3 (a multiferroic oxide), LaAlO3-SrTiO3 (a conductive oxide interface), and LaNiO3 (a strongly correlated metal). We focus on the appearance of novel functional properties from imposing epitaxial strain (compressive or tensile strain caused by the use of various lattice-mismatched substrates) on these films that cannot be observed in their bulk form. Subsequently, the intrinsic mechanisms for these novel phenomena are discussed based on experimental observations and theoretical modelling. We conclude that by using epitaxial strain, not only can thin film functionalities be tuned but many novel correlated phenomena can also be created. We believe that our collective efforts on the strain engineering of various transition metal oxide thin films will provide an insightful description of this emerging subject from a fundamental physics and nanoscale device applications point of view.
Part of the book: Epitaxy