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Highly localized strain fields due to planar defects in epitaxial SrBi2Nb2O9 thin films

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3 Author(s)
Boulle, A. ; Science des Procédés Céramiques et de Traitements de Surface UMR CNRS 6638, ENSCI, 47-73 avenue Albert Thomas, 87065 Limoges Cedex, France ; Guinebretiere, R. ; Dauger, A.

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Thin films of (00l) oriented SrBi2Nb2O9 epitaxially grown on SrTiO3 by sol-gel spin coating have been studied by means of high-resolution x-ray diffraction reciprocal space mapping. It is shown that these materials contain highly localized heterogeneous strain fields due to imperfect stacking faults (i.e., faults that do not propagate throughout the crystallites building up the film). In the film plane, the strain fields are confined to 11 nm wide regions and characterized by a vertical displacement of 0.18c (where c is the cell parameter) showing that the stacking faults are mainly composed of one additional (or missing) perovskite layer. Prolonged thermal annealing at 700 °C strongly reduces the density of stacking faults and yields a more uniform strain distribution within the film volume without inducing significant grain growth.

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Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:97 ,  Issue: 7 )