Rare earth oxides are usually widegap insulators like Y2O3 with closed shell trivalent rare earth ions. In this study, solid phase rock salt structure yttrium monoxide, YO, with unusual valence of Y2+ (4d1) was synthesized in a form of epitaxial thin film by pulsed laser deposition method. YO has been recognized as gaseous phase in previous studies. In contrast with Y2O3, YO was dark-brown colored and narrow gap semiconductor. The tunable electrical conductivity ranging from 10−1 to 103 Ω−1 cm−1 was attributed to the presence of oxygen vacancies serving as electron donor. Weak antilocalization behavior observed in magnetoresistance indicated significant role of spin-orbit coupling as a manifestation of 4d electron carrier.

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