Several groups have monitored the growth of complex oxides in-situ using Reflection High Energy Electron Diffraction (RHEED). In order to utilize RHEED during growth, films are deposited at low background oxygen pressures. Because of the low oxidation power at low pressures, low substrate temperatures have to be used. This hampers, in general, the film crystallinity. Furthermore, the background pressure in Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD) is an important parameter, because it influences the shape and size of the plasma and, therefore, the deposition rate and homogeneity of the film.
We have developed a high-pressure RHEED system, which can be used for growth monitoring during the deposition of complex oxides at standard PLD conditions. Clear diffraction patterns are observable up to 50 Pa, due to the minimized scattering losses.
SrTi03 substrate treatments as well as growth studies of Yba2Cu3O7−δ, using atomic layers of SrO or BaO as a buffer-layer, will be discussed in this contribution. It will be shown that monitoring and control of thin film growth by PLD on an atomic level is feasible, even in quite high background pressures.