Nucleation and growth of primary nanostructures in SrTiO3 homoepitaxy

Soo hyon Phark, Young Jun Chang

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SrTiO3 nanoislands on SrTiO3 (001) in a diffusion-limited growth regime were studied using in situ scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). The STM images revealed two characteristic features of nucleation stages. First, the minimum lateral size of the one-unit-cell (uc)-high SrTiO3 islands was 4 × 4 uc2. Second, one-dimensional SrTiO3 islands of a 4 uc width grew along the crystal symmetry directions. These observations suggest that 4 × 4-uc2 islands act as a minimum nucleation seed, and the addition of SrTiO3 molecular species of the same width is the primary and dominant growth process in SrTiO3 homoepitaxy. A close inspection of the surface of the substrate during the deposition process revealed possible connections between surface reconstruction and energetically favorable nucleation of SrTiO3 islands.

Original languageEnglish
Article number80
JournalNanoscale Research Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2015


  • Island nucleation
  • Perovskite homoepitaxy
  • Scanning tunneling microscopy
  • Surface reconstruction


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