Morphological and structural investigation of the early stages of epitaxial growth of α-Fe2O3 (0001) on α-Al2O3 (0001) by oxygen-plasma-assisted MBE

S. I. Yi, Y. Liang, S. Thevuthasan, S. A. Chambers

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    We have investigated the early stages of α-Fe2O3 (0001) film growth on α-Al2O3 (0001) using oxygen-plasma-enhanced molecular beam epitaxy along with reflection high-energy electron diffraction, non-contact atomic force microscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and diffraction. A compressionally strained, fully stoichiometric α-Fe2O3 film three monolayers thick forms prior to the onset of three-dimensional island formation and lattice relaxation. The surface of this film appears to buckle along 〈112̄0〉, giving rise to a new set of inwardly contracted diffraction spots, which, if not resolved from the substrate spots, could be interpreted as a 12% in-plane lattice parameter expansion. Such an interpretation has led prior investigators to conclude that the interfacial layer consists of a disordered cation layer with an in-plane lattice parameter approximately 6% larger than that of α-Fe2O3. Our interpretation of the diffraction data suggests that the interfacial layer is badly distorted but commensurate with the substrate.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)212-220
    Number of pages9
    JournalSurface Science
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 1999


    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Condensed Matter Physics
    • Surfaces and Interfaces
    • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
    • Materials Chemistry

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