Defect generation by preferred nucleation in epitaxial Sr[sub 2]RuO[sub 4]/LaAlO[sub 3]

Zurbuchen, Mark A.; Yunfa Jia, Mark A.; Knapp, Stacy; Carim, Altaf H.; Schlom, Darrell G.; Pan, X.Q.
November 2003
Applied Physics Letters;11/10/2003, Vol. 83 Issue 19, p3891
Academic Journal
The atomic structure of the film–substrate interface of a (001) Sr[sub 2]RuO[sub 4]/(100)[sub c] LaAlO[sub 3] film, determined by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy and simulation, is reported. The structure of superconductivity-quenching Δc≈0.25 nm out-of-phase boundaries (OPBs) in the film is also reported. Growth in one region on the La-terminated surface is observed to nucleate with a SrO layer. Because two structurally equivalent SrO layers exist within the unit cell, two neighboring nuclei with differing growth order (SrO-RuO[sub 2]-SrO or RuO[sub 2]-SrO-SrO) will nucleate an OPB where their misaligned growth fronts meet. Strategies to avoid OPB generation by this mechanism are suggested, which it is hoped may ultimately lead to superconducting Sr[sub 2]RuO[sub 4] films. © 2003 American Institute of Physics.


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