The SrTiO3/Si system was initially studied to develop a basic understanding of the integration of perovskite oxides with semiconductors, and successful integration with abrupt interfaces was demonstrated. Defect analysis showed no misfit dislocations but only anti-phase boundaries (APBs) in the SrTiO3 (STO) films. Similar defects were later observed in other perovskite oxide heterostructures.
Ferroelectric BaTiO3 (BTO) thin films deposited directly onto STO substrates, or STO buffer layers with Ge substrates, were grown by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) in order to control the polarization orientation for field-effect transistors (FETs). STEM imaging and elemental mapping by electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS) showed structurally and chemically abrupt interfaces, and the BTO films retained the c-axis-oriented tetragonal structure for both BTO/STO and BTO/STO/Ge heterostructures. The polarization displacement in the BTO films of TiN/BTO/STO heterostructures was investigated. The Ti4+ atomic column displacements and lattice parameters were measured directly using HAADF images. A polarization gradient, which switched from upwards to downwards, was observed in the BTO thin film, and evidence was found for positively-charged oxygen vacancies.
Heterostructures grown on Ge substrates by atomic layer deposition (ALD) were characterized and compared with MBE-grown samples. A two-step process was needed to overcome interlayer reaction at the beginning of ALD growth. A-site-rich oxide films with thicknesses of at least 2-nm had to be deposited and then crystallized before initiating deposition of the following perovskite oxide layer in order to suppress the formation of amorphous oxide layers on the Ge surface. BTO/STO/Ge, BTO/Ge, SrHfTiO3/Ge and SrZrO3/Ge thin films with excellent crystallinity were grown using this process.
Metal-insulator-metal (MIM) heterostructures were fabricated as ferroelectric capacitors and then electrically stressed to the point of breakdown to correlate structural changes with electrical and physical properties. BaTiO3 on Nb:STO was patterned with different top metal electrodes by focused-ion-beam milling, Au/Ni liftoff, and an isolation-defined approach.
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Understanding perovskite degradation and stress responses under practical conditions is necessary to design efficient and stable photovoltaic devices. This experiment creates an in-situ stress testing system, in which the stress of a sample may be tested while it is subjected to conditions that it may experience in operation, such as cycles of sunlight. This immediate stress response is valuable in understanding what factors directly contribute to the stresses that degrade perovskite solar cells. Perovskite may be 2D or 3D and are composed of many different elements and additives. Each ink responds differently to sunlight exposure due to their different structures, which is important to characterize and comprehend. Preliminary testing and characterization for 2D, 3D and MAPI with gellan gum additive perovskite inks is conducted in this experiment. It is reported that the lattice expansion causing degradation-inducing stress is due to photon dosage rather than heat, and both 3D and 2D perovskites are sensitive to minute photon dosage.