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Microstructural Defects in SrTiO3 Bicrystals and Their Influence on YBa2Cu3O7 Film Growth and Junction Performance

  • J. W. P. Hsu (a1), E. B. McDaniel (a1), R. A. Rao (a2) and C. B. Eom (a2)

Abstract

We use a near-field scanning optical microscope (NSOM) to investigate microstructural defects at the fusion boundaries of SrTiO3 bicrystal substrates. The optical transmission across the fusion boundary shows circular dark spots with diameters varying from 0.1 to 1 μm that are distributed non-uniformly along the boundary. After detailed characterization of the substrates, a thin YBa2Cu3O7 (YBCO) film (∼ 40 nm) was deposited on a 24° bicrystal. Combining NSOM and scanning force microscopy, we show that these substrate defects can cause the grain boundary of a YBCO thin film grown on the bicrystal to wander up to 0.8 micron in the film. Strain fields associated with these substrate defects are attributed to their influence on YBCO growth. The relation between these structural defects and the electrical characteristics of YBCO grain boundary junctions are also discussed.

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