Thermodynamic stability and control of oxygen reactivity at functional oxide interfaces: EuO on ITO
As a prototypical all-oxide heterostructure, the ferromagnetic insulator europium monoxide (EuO) is synthesized on transparent and conductive indium tin oxide (ITO) virtual substrates. Non-destructive hard X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy is employed to depth profile the chemical composition of the magnetic layer and the buried oxide–oxide interface. We find that thermally activated oxygen diffusion from ITO affects the EuO growth process. We present how to control the oxygen reactivity at the interface and discuss its origin in a thermodynamic analysis. Our complementary methodical strategy allows for a significant improvement of the EuO chemical quality with sizeable magnetic properties. Generally, our approach derives guidelines for the proper choice of oxide substrates and buffer layer materials for functional all-oxide heterostructures.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2016 Journal of Materials Chemistry C Hot Papers