We studied the morphology of ramps in REBa2Cu3O7 (REBCO) epitaxial films on SrTiO3 substrates, fabricated by RF magnetron sputter deposition and pulsed laser deposition (PLD), by scanning probe microscopy (SPM) and high resolution electron microscopy (HREM). The ramps were fabricated by Ar ion beam etching using masks of standard photoresist and TiN. AFM-studies on ramps in sputter deposited films show a strong dependence, i.e. formation of facets and ridges, on the angle of incidence of the ion beam with respect to the substrate surface as well as the rotation angle with respect to the crystal axes of the substrate. Ramps in pulsed laser deposited films did not show this dependence. Furthermore, we studied the effect of an anneal step prior to the deposition of barrier layers (i.e. PrBu2CU3O7, SrTiO3, CeO2) on the ramp. First results show a recrystallization of the ramp surface, resulting in terraces and a non-homogeneous growth of the barrier material on top of it. The thickness variations, for thin layers of barrier material, can even become much larger than expected from the amount of deposited material and are dependent on the deposition and anneal conditions. HREM studies show a well defined interface between barrier layer and electrodes. The angle of the ramp depends on the etch rate of the mask and REBCO, and on the angle of incidence of the ion beam. TiN has a much lower etch rate compared to photoresist, resulting in an angle of the ramp comparable to the angle of incidence, resulting in a low etching rate on the ramp. These results will lead to improved electrical characteristics of ramp-type junctions.
Blank, D. H. A., Rijnders, A. J. H. M., Verhoeven, M. A. J., Bergs, R. M. H., Rogalla, H., Verbist, K., ... van Tendeloo, G. (1997). Characterisation of multilayer ramp-type REBa2Cu3O7−δ structures by SPM and HREM. Journal of alloys and compounds, 251(1-2), 206-208. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0925-8388(96)02799-5