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A suitable in situ monitoring technique for growth of thin films is reflection high energy electron diffraction (RHEED). Deposition techniques, like pulsed laser deposition (PLD) and sputter deposition, used for fabrication of complex oxide thin films use relatively high oxygen pressures (up to 100 Pa) and are, therefore, not compatible with ultrahigh vacuum RHEED equipment. We have developed a RHEED system which can be used for growth monitoring during the deposition of complex oxides at standard PLD conditions. We are able to increase the deposition pressure up to 50 Pa using a two-stage differential pumping system. Clear RHEED patterns are observable at these high pressures. The applicability of this system is demonstrated with the study of homoepitaxial growth of SrTiO3 as well as the heteroepitaxial growth of YBa2Cu3O7-δ on SrTiO3. Intensity oscillations of the RHEED reflections, indicating two-dimensional growth, are observed up to several tens of nanometers film thickness in both cases. © 1997 American Institute of Physics.
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