Growth mechanism of epitaxial SrTiO3 on a (1 × 2) + (2 × 1) reconstructed Sr(1/2 ML)/Si(001) surface†
Sub-monolayer control over the growth at silicon–oxide interfaces is a prerequisite for epitaxial integration of complex oxides with the Si platform, enriching it with a variety of functionalities. However, the control over this integration is hindered by the intense reaction of the constituents. The most suitable buffer material for Si passivation is metallic strontium. When it is overgrown with a layer of SrTiO3 (STO) it can serve as a pseudo-substrate for the integration with functional oxides. In our study we determined a mechanism for epitaxial integration of STO with a (1 × 2) + (2 × 1) reconstructed Sr(1/2 ML)/Si(001) surface using all-pulsed laser deposition (PLD) technology. A detailed analysis of the initial deposition parameters was performed, which enabled us to develop a complete protocol for integration, taking into account the peculiarities of the PLD growth, STO critical thickness, and process thermal budget, in order to kinetically trap the reaction between STO and Si and thus to minimize the thickness of the interface layer. The as-prepared oxide layer exhibits STO(001)‖Si(001) out-of-plane and STO‖Si in-plane orientation and together with recent advances in large-scale PLD tools these results represent a new technological solution for the implementation of oxide electronics on demand.