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Mechanisms for microstructure enhancement in flux-assisted growth of barium titanate on sapphire

  • Matthew J. Burch (a1), Jing Li (a1), David T. Harris (a1), Jon-Paul Maria (a1) and Elizabeth C. Dickey (a1)...


A low-temperature thin-film processing method for BaTiO3 is studied to understand microstructure development in the presence of a liquid-forming phase. The addition of a eutectic barium borate flux is found to prevent nucleation of BaTiO3 during pulsed-laser deposition on sapphire substrates at 400 °C. Subsequent thermal annealing above the flux's eutectic temperature dramatically enhances the film's microstructural development and crystallinity. A secondary reaction phase of barium aluminate is identified at the substrate interface in both unfluxed and fluxed films, although it is more pronounced in the fluxed films. This barium aluminate phase in conjunction with the liquid flux serves to nucleate {111} twins in the barium titanate, which subsequently lead to enhanced grain growth. The resulting large-grained and dense thin films result in markedly improved dielectric properties.


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