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Keywords:

  • oxide heterostructures;
  • structural distortion;
  • quantum confinement;
  • scanning transmission electron microscopy;
  • first-principles calculations
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Oxide heterointerfaces often trigger unusual electronic properties that are absent in respective bulks. Here, direct evidence is offered for spontaneously assembled local structural distortions in a single-phase bulk, which confine electrons to within an atomic layer with notable orbital reconstruction and coupling, close the forbidden band, induce a ferromagnetic ordering, and give rise to a strongly anisotropic, spin-polarized quasi-one-dimensional electron gas.