Reactive molecular beam epitaxy of NiO on Ag(001) has been characterized by high-resolution low energy electron diffraction performed during deposition of Ni on Ag(001) in molecular oxygen atmosphere for deposition temperatures of 300–420 K. The initial stage of film growth at high deposition temperature is determined by competing processes of Ni oxidation and Ni interdiffusion into Ag(001) with Ni-Ag alloying. Ni oxidation is favored at low deposition temperatures. Thus, NiO bilayers are immediately formed. At high deposition temperatures, however, alloying with Ag is enhanced and the formation of the initial NiO bilayer is delayed. After formation of a closed NiO bilayer, alloying is prevented and all deposited Ni is oxidized and NiO growth proceeds in the layer-by-layer growth mode. Later stages of epitaxy are governed by relaxation processes induced by the formation of mosaics due to interface dislocations. The tilt angle of the mosaic decreases with increasing film thickness due to elastic deformation of the NiO lattice. Dislocation related mosaics are paired and form grooves. Postdeposition characterization shows periodic arrangement of grooves related to the formation of a regular dislocation network.
Evolving surface morphology during epitaxy of NiO on Ag(001)
Note: This paper is a part of the Special Collection Honoring Dr. Scott Chambers' 70th Birthday and His Leadership in the Science and Technology of Oxide Thin Films.
Hanno D. Goldbach, Joachim Wollschläger; Evolving surface morphology during epitaxy of NiO on Ag(001). J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 1 May 2022; 40 (3): 033403. https://doi.org/10.1116/6.0001446
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