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Surface Microstructures of Ferroelectric SrBi2Ta2O9, BaTiO3 and Metallic SrRuO3 Epitaxial Thin Films

  • Q. D. Jiang (a1), Z. J. Huang (a1), C. L. Chen (a1), A. Brazdeikis (a1), P. Jin (a1), H. H. Feng (a1), A. Benneker (a1) and C. W. Chu (a1)...

Abstract

We have made a comparative invetigation of the surface microstructures of epitaxially grown ferroelectric SrBi2Ta2O9, BaTiO3 films, and metallic SrRuO3 films, using scanning probe microscopy. Though their lattices (or pseudotetrogonal lattices) match closely with SrTiO3 (001) substrates, SPM results show very different surface microstructures. The surfaces of SrRuO3 films display atomically flat terraces of 90° oriented step edges. The size of steps is about 6 Å. The surface of BaTiO3 films deposited at various temperatures displays uniform rectangular islands. Different stages of SrBi2Ta2O9 epitaxial growth have been studied on thickness gradient films, which show clearly 2D nucleation and layer-by-layer growth, following a transition from 2D to 3D island growth. It finally develops into a surface exhibiting round hills consisting of curved terraces with size of steps ranging from 6 Å to 12.5 Å.

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