Non-conducting interfaces of LaAlO3/SrTiO3 produced in sputter deposition: The role of stoichiometry

Dildar, I. M.; Boltje, D. B.; Hesselberth, M. H. S.; Aarts, J.; Xu, Q.; Zandbergen, H. W.; Harkema, S.
March 2013
Applied Physics Letters;3/25/2013, Vol. 102 Issue 12, p121601
Academic Journal
We have investigated the properties of interfaces between LaAlO3 films grown on SrTiO3 substrates singly terminated by TiO2. We used RF sputtering in a high-pressure oxygen atmosphere. The films are smooth, with flat surfaces. Transmission electron microscopy shows sharp and continuous interfaces with some slight intermixing. The elemental ratio of La to Al, measured by the energy dispersive X-ray technique, is found to be 1.07. Importantly, we find these interfaces to be non-conducting, indicating that the sputtered interface is not electronically reconstructed in the way reported for films grown by pulsed laser deposition because of the different interplays among stoichiometry, mixing, and oxygen vacancies.


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