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The Effect of Elastic Strain on the Electrical and Magnetic Properties of Epitaxial Ferromagnetic SrRuO3 Thin Films

  • Q. Gan (a1), R. A. Rao (a1), J. L. Garrett (a2), Mark Lee (a2) and C. B. Eom (a1)...

Abstract

We report the direct measurement of elastic strain effect on the electrical and magnetic properties of single domain epitaxial SrRuO3 thin films, using a lift-off technique. The as-grown films on vicinal (001) SrTiO3 substrates are subjected to elastic biaxial compressive strain within the plane and tensile strain normal to the plane. In contrast, the lift-off films prepared by chemical etching of SrTiO3 substrates, are completely strain free with bulk like lattice. Our measurements indicate that the elastic strain can significantly affect the electrical and magnetic properties of epitaxial ferromagnetic SrRuO3 thin films. For the strained films, the Curie temperature (Tc) was suppressed to 150K and the saturation magnetic moment (Ms) was decreased to 1.15μB/Ru atom as compared to a Tc of 160K and Ms of 1.45μB/Ru atom for the strain free films. These property changes are attributed to the structural distortion due to the elastic strain in the as-grown epitaxial thin films. Our results provide direct evidence of the crucial role of lattice strain in determining the properties of the perovskite epitaxial thin films.

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