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Properties of YBa2Cu3O7− δthin films grown on vicinal SrTiO3(001) substrates

Physica C Superconductivity
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s0921-4534(98)00209-3
  • Yba2Cu3O7− δ
  • Srtio3
  • Vicinal
  • Step Bunching
  • Step Flow Growth
  • Mathematics


Abstract We report on the structural and electrical properties of YBa 2Cu 3O 7− δ films grown on 2°, 4° and 6° vicinal SrTiO 3 (001) substrates. X-ray diffraction analysis revealed the alignment of the YBa 2Cu 3O 7− δ c-axis with the substrate [001] tilted axis and good crystalline quality of the films. A largely regular surface morphology, characteristic of step-flow growth, was observed by means of atomic force microscopy and scanning tunnelling microscopy. The step height h s in the regular film area was of the order of the YBa 2Cu 3O 7− δ unit cell height in the c-direction. The terrace width w T decreased with increasing vicinal angle according to the relation w T= h s/tan( θ vic). In addition we observed holes and surface regions with sub-unit cell steps and merged individual steps (step bunching). The surface topology suggests that defects such as planar antiphase boundaries and impurities result in a localised reduction of the step velocity and in the pinning of the step growth front. Transport measurements showed an anisotropy of the in-plane resistivity but not of the critical temperature (90 K along and across the steps). The angular dependence of the critical current density is briefly reported.

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