Surface and interfacial structure of epitaxial SrTiO3 thin films on (0 0 1) Si grown by molecular beam epitaxy

F. Niu*, B. W. Wessels

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Effects of relaxation of interfacial misfit strain and non-stoichiometry on surface morphology and surface and interfacial structures of epitaxial SrTiO3 (STO) thin films on (0 0 1) Si during initial growth by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) were investigated. In situ reflection high-energy electron diffraction (RHEED) in combination with X-ray diffraction (XRD), atomic force microscopy (AFM), X-ray photoelectron spectrometry (XPS) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) techniques were employed. Relaxation of the interfacial misfit strain between STO and Si as measured by in situ RHEED indicates initial growth is not pseudomorphic, and the interfacial misfit strain is relaxed during and immediately after the first monolayer (ML) deposition. The interfacial strain up to 15 ML results from thermal mismatch strain rather than lattice mismatch strain. Stoichiometry of STO affects not only surface morphology but interfacial structure. We have identified a nanoscale Sr4Ti3O10 second phase at the STO/Si interface in a Sr-rich film.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)509-518
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Crystal Growth
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 15 2007


  • A1. Interfaces
  • A1. Surface structure
  • A3. Molecular beam epitaxy
  • B1. Oxide thin film
  • B2. Semiconducting silicon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry

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