Mechanisms for hetero-epitaxial nucleation of YBa[sub 2]Cu[sub 3]O[sub ∼6.1] at the buried precursor/SrTiO[sub 3] interface in the postdeposition reaction process

Wu, L.; Solovyov, V. F.; Wiesmann, H. J.; Zhu, Y.; Suenaga, M.
January 2002
Applied Physics Letters;1/21/2002, Vol. 80 Issue 3, p419
Academic Journal
The mechanisms have been identified for the hetero-epitaxial nucleation of YBa[sub 2]Cu[sub 3]O[sub ∼6.1] (YBCO) at the buried interface between a precursor film and SrTiO[sub 3] for the so-called BaF[sub 2] process which is a postdeposition reaction process for the synthesis of epitaxial YBCO films. It is shown that the preferential nucleation of YBCO at the interface is due to (1) the strong chemical affinity of the (Y, Ba)-oxy-fluoride, an intermediate phase, to SrTiO[sub 3] and (2) the epitaxial alignment of its (111) planes with the (001) surface of the SrTiO[sub 3] which reduces the activation barrier for the formation of YBCO. In thin films (<2–3 μm) the YBCO nuclei, whose c axes are perpendicular to the SrTiO[sub 3] surface, form directly from this aligned oxy-fluoride. In thick films (5 μm), however, this oxy-fluoride decomposes into a disordered transitory cubic phase which then orders to form YBCO nuclei with three orientational variants, one with its c axis perpendicular and two with their c axes parallel to the (001) plane of SrTiO[sub 3]. © 2002 American Institute of Physics.


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