The simple perovskite manganite Sr1-xSmxMnO3 (SSMO) has been reported to have a highly-correlated electronic system for e g-electrons in a Mn ion. According to the previous studies, the C-type orbital-ordered (COO) state with the I4/mcm symmetry was found to be formed from the disordered-cubic (DC) state on cooling. The feature of the COO state is that its crystal structure involves both the Jahn-Teller distortion to orbital ordering and the R 25-type rotational displacement of oxygen octahedra. Because of the involvement of both the distortion and the displacement, their competition should be expected in the formation of the COO state. However, the detailed features of the competition have not been understood yet. Thus, the crystallographic features of the COO state in SSMO have been examined by x-ray powder diffraction and transmission electron microscopy. It was found that, when the Sm content increased from x = 0 at room temperature, the DC state changed into the COO state with the tetragonal symmetry around x = 0.13. The notable feature of the COO state is that the state is characterized by a nanometer-scaled banded structure consisting of an alternating array of two tetragonal bands. One tetragonal band consisted of the COO state involving both the Jahn-Teller distortion and the R 25-type rotational displacement. But, there was only the latter displacement in the other, the state of which could be identified as a disordered tetragonal (DT) state. Based on this, it is understood that the COO-state formation from the DC state should take place via the appearance of the DT state, which may involve fluctuations of the C-type orbital ordering.
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