Artificial superlattices consisting of multiferroic BiFeO3 (BFO) and conductive LaNiO3 (LNO) were grown epitaxially on a Nb-doped SrTiO3 (STO) (001) single-crystal substrate at temperatures in a range 560-810°C with a RF magnetron sputtering system. The superlattice contained 30 periods of symmetric BFO/LNO bilayers with a thickness of 2nm of each individual layer. Ferroelectric and conductive superlattice materials of this type can serve for an investigation of the strain dependence of ferroelectric properties of BFO layers in superlattice structures.Measurements of X-ray reflectivity and X-ray diffraction at high resolution were employed to characterize the microstructure of these films. The formation of a superlattice structure was confirmed by the appearance of Bragg peaks separated by Kiessig fringes in the X-ray reflectivity curve and a diffraction pattern. The clearly discernible main feature and satellite features on both sides of the substrate feature about the (002) STO Bragg peak indicate the high quality of the BFO/LNO artificial superlattice structure formed on a STO substrate at all deposition temperatures.X-ray measurements show that these superlattice films become subject to greater compressive strain in the in-plane direction, and possess increased crystalline quality when increasing the deposition temperature to 660°C. The measurement of hysteresis loops shows that the largest remanent polarization (Pr) occurs at 660°C.
- Rf sputtering
- X-ray diffraction