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Misfit strain relaxation by dislocations in SrRuO3/SrTiO3 (001) heteroepitaxy

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2 Author(s)
Oh, Sang Ho ; Center for Advanced Aerospace Materials, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang 790-784, Korea ; Park, Chan Gyung

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Misfit relaxation by dislocations in perovskite SrRuO3/SrTiO3 (001) heterostructure with low lattice mismatch (f=0.64%) was studied. Pure edge misfit dislocations (MDs) with a Burgers vector of the a<011> type were found to be the major interfacial defects responsible for the misfit relief. They were introduced by half-loops expansion from the film surface as well as by extension of pre-existing dislocations in the substrate. These 45°-MDs formed along the <100> directions in a rectangular grid pattern, preferentially at surface steps of the TiO2-terminated SrTiO3 (STO) substrate. At film thicknesses much higher than the critical film thickness (hc), however, the MD spacing was not reduced but saturated in a nearly constant value far above the equilibrium prediction (∼61.4 nm). The saturated spacing of MDs corresponds to roughly the ledge distances on the STO surface (120–150 nm). It is suggested that difficulties in the multiplication of MDs by the already-formed ones lead to the abnormally high residual strain. Further accumulation of residual strain results in microstructural modifications such as surface undulations and the two-layered structure along the growth direction. © 2004 American Institute of Physics.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:95 ,  Issue: 9 )

Date of Publication:

May 2004

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