Enhanced metallic properties of SrRuO3 thin films via kinetically controlled pulsed laser epitaxy

J. Thompson, J. Nichols, S. Lee, S. Ryee, J. H. Gruenewald, J. G. Connell, M. Souri, J. M. Johnson, J. Hwang, M. J. Han, H. N. Lee, D. W. Kim, S. S.A. Seo

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Metal electrodes are a universal element of all electronic devices. Conducting SrRuO3 (SRO) epitaxial thin films have been extensively used as electrodes in complex-oxide heterostructures due to good lattice mismatches with perovskite substrates. However, when compared to SRO single crystals, SRO thin films have shown reduced conductivity and Curie temperatures (TC), which can lead to higher Joule heating and energy loss in the devices. Here, we report that high-quality SRO thin films can be synthesized by controlling the plume dynamics and growth rate of pulsed laser epitaxy (PLE) with real-time optical spectroscopic monitoring. The SRO thin films grown under the kinetically controlled conditions, down to ca. 16 nm in thickness, exhibit both enhanced conductivity and TC as compared to bulk values, due to their improved stoichiometry and a strain-mediated increase of the bandwidth of Ru 4d electrons. This result provides a direction for enhancing the physical properties of PLE-grown thin films and paves a way to improved device applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number161902
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number16
StatePublished - 17 Oct 2016

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