Transition from three- to two-dimensional growth in strained SrRuO[sub 3] films on SrTiO[sub 3](001)

Sánchez, F.; Garcıa-Cuenca, M. V.; Ferrater, C.; Varela, M.; Herranz, G.; Martınez, B.; Fontcuberta, J.
August 2003
Applied Physics Letters;8/4/2003, Vol. 83 Issue 5, p902
Academic Journal
The morphology of strained SrRuO[SUB3] films grown on SrTiO[SUB3](001) has been investigated as a function of thickness. A transition of growth mode has been observed. At the early stages, there is a fingerlike structure originated by three-dimensional (3D) islands that nucleated along the substrate steps. Afterward, adatoms stick preferentially in the valleys of the structure and the films become progressively smoother. At a thickness above 10-20 nm, the films are extremely flat and have a self-organized structure of terraces and steps, with the growth proceeding mainly by a step flow (two-dimensional) mechanism. Relevance on film properties and possible use of the initial, nanometric, 3D structures are discussed.


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