A domain structure based on the rutile lattice with a large density of 12011{011}-type stacking faults is found in sputter deposited TiO2 films [J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A24, 2054 (2006)]. The thermal stability of nanomosaic rutile at moderate temperature is reported here. Films are annealed at 973K for 0.2515h, characterized by x-ray diffraction. A Johnson–Mehl–Avrami–Kolmogorov analysis indicates impeded crystallite growth. A dislocation-locking mechanism is proposed for this behavior. Partial dislocations with 12011 Burgers vectors that bound the stacking faults glide on intersecting {011} slip planes and react to produce sessile stair rod dislocations. Without the high temperature required for dislocation climb, 12011{011}-type faults inherent to nanomosaic rutile provide thermal stability against massive crystallite growth.

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