Surface Control of Epitaxial Manganite Films via Oxygen Pressure

A Tselev, R K Vasudevan, A G Gianfrancesco, L Qiao, P Ganesh, T L Meyer, H N Lee, M D Biegalski, A P Baddorf, S V Kalinin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The trend to reduce device dimensions demands increasing attention to atomic-scale details of structure of thin films as well as to pathways to control it. This is of special importance in the systems with multiple competing interactions. We have used in situ scanning tunneling microscopy to image surfaces of La5/8Ca3/8MnO3 films grown by pulsed laser deposition. The atomically resolved imaging was combined with in situ angle-resolved X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. We find a strong effect of the background oxygen pressure during deposition on structural and chemical features of the film surface. Deposition at 50 mTorr of O-2 leads to mixed-terminated film surfaces, with B-site (MnO2) termination being structurally imperfect at the atomic scale. A relatively small reduction of the oxygen pressure to 20 mTorr results in a dramatic change of the surface structure leading to a nearly perfectly ordered B-site terminated surface with only a small fraction of A-site (La,Ca)O termination. This is accompanied, however, by surface roughening at a mesoscopic length scale. The results suggest that oxygen has a strong link to the adatom mobility during growth. The effect of the oxygen pressure on dopant surface segregation is also pronounced: Ca surface segregation is decreased with oxygen pressure reduction.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)4316-4327
    Number of pages12
    JournalACS Nano
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • perovskite manganite
    • pulsed laser deposition
    • scanning tunneling
    • microscopy
    • X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy
    • surface structure
    • la0.7sr0.3mno3 thin-films
    • colossal magnetoresistive manganites
    • pulsed-laser deposition
    • spin polarization
    • photoelectron-spectroscopy
    • perovskite manganites
    • electronic-structure
    • magnetic-properties
    • layered manganite
    • phase


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