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Scanning Tunneling Microscopy and Spectroscopy of Y-Ba-Cu-O Thin Films Produced by Ion Beam Sputter-Deposition

  • R. C. Chapman (a1), O. Aucffillo (a1) (a2), D. J. LichtenWalner (a2), R. P. Adu (a1), C. N. SobleII (a2), K. N. Christensen (a2), R. R. Woolcott (a2), L. M. Chen (a3), T. R. Barr (a3) and A. I. Kingon (a2)...


Ion beam sputter-deposition has been used to produce high temperature superconducting (HTSC) thin films with controlled orientation. Room temperature scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) studies of ion beam sputter-deposited Y-Ba-Cu-O thin films indicate that the growth mode depends on whether the films are a- or c-axis oriented. The c-axis oriented films appear to grow by a screw dislocation mechanism, producing layered spirals similar to those observed in films grown by plasma sputtering and laser ablation-deposition. STM images of the a-axis oriented films show a growth mode which appears to produce layered structures perpendicular to the substrate with no spirals. Scanning tunneling spectroscopy (STS) studies of the a- and c-axis oriented films tend to reflect the anisotropy of the Y-Ba-Cu-O structure. Both the c-axis and the a-axis oriented films have semiconducting characteristics, possibly due to a native oxide, with a band gap estimated to be 1.4 eV. The c-axis oriented film, however, exhibits more fine structure in its density of states. This apparent anisotropie band structure reflects the anisotropie Y-Ba-Cu-O microstructure and superconducting characteristics. Investigations with x-ray photcelectron spectroscopy (XPS) establish a substantial chemical difference between the two surfaces inferring more substantial native oxides and air-induced by-products on the a-axis oriented film.



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