Electric-field effects in resistive oxides: facts and artifacts
Physics Department, Technion, Haifa 32000, Israel
Striking non-linear conductivity effects induced by surprisingly low electric-fields in charge-ordered oxides, were reported variously as dielectric breakdown, charge-order collapse, depinning of charge-density-waves or other electronic effects. Our pulsed and d.c. I-V measurements on resistive oxides show that non-linear conductivity of electronic origin at low electric-fields is a rare phenomenon. In the majority of cases we detected no deviations from linearity in pulsed I-V characteristics under fields up to E ~ 500 V/cm. Current-controlled negative-differential-resistance (NDR) and hysteresis were found in d.c. measurements at fields that decrease with increasing temperatures, a behavior typical of Joule heating in materials with negative temperature coefficient of resistivity. For the d.c. I-V characteristics of our samples exhibiting NDR, we found a rather unexpected correlation between ρ(Em) - the resistivity at maximum field (at the onset of NDR) and ρ(E=0) – the ohmic resistivity. The data points for ρ(Em) versus ρ(E=0) obtained from such characteristics of 13 samples (8 manganites, 4 nickelates and one multiferroic) at various ambient temperatures, plotted together on a log-log scale, follow closely a linear dependence with slope one that spans more than five orders of magnitude. This dependence is reproduced by several simple models.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2013