Effect of oxygen partial pressure on the in situ growth of Y-Ba-Cu-O thin films on SrTiO3

J. Q. Zheng*, M. C. Shih, S. Williams, S. J. Lee, Hiroshi Kajiyama, X. K. Wang, Z. Zhao, K. Viani, S. Jacobson, P. Dutta, R. P.H. Chang, J. B. Ketterson, T. Roberts, R. T. Kampwirth, K. E. Gray

*Corresponding author for this work

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34 Scopus citations


The evolution of YBCO film growth with thickness at various oxygen pressures was observed by in situ synchrotron x-ray diffraction in real time. When the films were deposited at 2 Å/s and 730°C under higher oxygen partial pressures (in an Ar/O2 mixture of 90 mTorr), the nucleation was observed to have c-axis orientation. After the films reached a critical thickness, the growth of the YBCO film changed from c axis to a axis and then propagated epitaxially. This provides evidence that a-axis epitaxial growth nucleates on a c-axis base. The critical thickness reflects the competition between the growth of the c and a axes, which is determined by the oxygen partial pressure in the process of thin-film formation. The a-axis oriented films showed a very sharp rocking curve (less than 0.1°) which indicates a very high structural quality. For very low oxygen partial pressures, the in situ growth process was very similar, but the initial nuclei involve a second phase mixed with a small amount of c-axis "123" phase. The nucleation and growth mechanisms of in situ YBCO films are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-233
Number of pages3
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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