The integration of semiconductors with ferroelectrics having a controlled polarization direction is an ongoing and challenging topic of research. In this work, BaTiO3 (BTO)/SrTiO3 (STO) heterostructures were grown by molecular beam epitaxy either directly with STO substrates or by using 2-nm-thick STO buffer layers on Ge(001) substrates. Sharp, chemically abrupt interfaces and c-axis-oriented BTO films for both types of heterostructures were observed using aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy and elemental mapping. Anti-phase boundaries as well as 〈100〉 misfit dislocations were present in the BTO/STO samples, with the offsets of the dislocation cores varying by distances between 1 and 5 nm away from the BTO/STO interface. Conversely, misfit dislocations were not observed in the BTO/STO/Ge structure although vertical anti-phase boundaries were still common. Overall, the results emphasize the benefits of identifying a suitable buffer layer to ensure the growth of a high quality material having the desired out-of-plane ferroelectric polarization.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)