Multiferroic BiFeO3 thin films processed via chemical solution deposition: Structural and electrical characterization

Iakovlev, S.; Solterbeck, C.-H.; Kuhnke, M.; Es-Souni, M.
May 2005
Journal of Applied Physics;5/1/2005, Vol. 97 Issue 9, p094901
Academic Journal
Polycrystalline BiFeO3 thin films were fabricated on (111)Pt/Ti/SiO2/Si substrates via Bi-acetate- and Fe-acetylacetonate-based chemical solution deposition and spin-coating techniques. The processing parameters were optimized in order to obtain films with high resistivity. The optical properties (refractive indices and extinction coefficients) were measured by means of ellipsometry (HeNe laser, λ=632.8 Å). Microstructure characterization was made by means of atomic force microscopy, grazing incidence x-ray diffractometry (XRD), and texture analysis. Additionally, powders prepared from a stoichiometric precursor were investigated by means of thermogravimetric and differential thermal analyses and XRD. It is demonstrated that the formation of perovskite-type BiFeO3 is accompanied by the appearance of bismuth oxide at low temperatures which then transforms into Bi36Fe2O57. For the films it was found that annealing in oxygen leads to higher indices of refraction, lower roughness, and smaller grain size. Complete crystallization of the films was achieved at a substantially lower temperature compared to that of the powders. A (100) (pseudocubic) out-of-plane preferred orientation was revealed for specimens annealed in air and oxygen. It is supposed that the crystal lattice of the thin film is close to cubic possibly due to stress development at the substrate/film interface. The electrical properties of the films were measured at room temperature by impedance analysis. The piezoelectric properties were determined using a laser vibrometer. Room temperature resistances measured at 1 kHz for metal-film-metal configurations for the specimens annealed in air and O2 were 14 Ω and 1.35 kΩ, respectively. This is explained in terms of the high sensitivity of the oxidation state (+2 or +3) of iron ions to oxygen stoichiometry in the specimens. Further electrical characterization of the specimen annealed in O2 revealed very low frequency dispersion of the dielectric constant. A dielectric loss of 1% or less was detected in a wide range of frequency. The films annealed in oxygen showed piezoelectric activity with a value of the piezoelectric coefficient d33 of 12 pm/V. A relatively weak ferroelectricity (remnant polarization 2Pr of approximately 1 μC/cm2) was detected for the specimens annealed in oxygen.


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