Suppression of superconductivity by crystallographic defects in epitaxial Sr[sub 2]RuO[sub 4] films

Zurbuchen, Mark A.; Jia, Yunfa; Knapp, Stacy; Carim, Altaf H.; Schlom, Darrell G.; Zou, Ling-Nian; Liu, Ying
April 2001
Applied Physics Letters;4/16/2001, Vol. 78 Issue 16, p2351
Academic Journal
Epitaxial Sr[sub 2]RuO[sub 4] thin films grown by pulsed-laser deposition from high-purity (99.98%) Sr[sub 2]RuO[sub 4] targets on (001) LaAlO[sub 3] were found to be not superconducting down to 0.4 K. Structural disorder is believed to be responsible. A correlation was observed between higher resistivity ratios in electrical transport measurements and narrower x-ray diffraction rocking curve widths of the Sr[sub 2]RuO[sub 4] films. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy revealed that the dominant structural defects, i.e., the defects leading to the observed variation in rocking curve widths in the films, are {011} planar defects, with a spacing comparable to the in-plane superconducting coherence length of Sr[sub 2]RuO[sub 4]. These results imply that minimizing structural disorder is the key remaining challenge to achieving superconducting Sr[sub 2]RuO[sub 4] films. © 2001 American Institute of Physics.


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