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Transition from laminar to three-dimensional growth mode in pulsed laser deposited BiFeO3 film on (001) SrTiO3

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5 Author(s)
Chinta, Priya V. ; Department of Physics and Materials Science Program, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont 05405, USA ; Callori, Sara J. ; Dawber, Matthew ; Ashrafi, Almamun
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Real-time specular x-ray reflectivity of pulsed laser deposited BiFeO3 films exhibits unit-cell oscillations, with diffuse scattering intensity out-of-phase with the specular intensity. The growth mode is thus identified as nucleation and coalescence of unit-cell height islands. The growth rate is insensitive to the deposition rate, suggesting self-limiting growth. Beyond several monolayers the diffuse intensity increases abruptly, signaling a transition from two-dimensional to three-dimensional growth. Ex situ atomic force microscopy shows that mounds merge after a few more deposited layers, leaving arrays of mesas with some holes due to incomplete coalescence.

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Applied Physics Letters  (Volume:101 ,  Issue: 20 )