During the initial growth of the ferromagnetic oxide SrRuO3 on TiO2-terminated SrTiO3, we observe a self-organized conversion of the terminating atomic layer from RuO2 to SrO. This conversion induces an abrupt change in growth mode from layer by layer to growth by step advancement, indicating a large enhancement of the surface diffusivity. This growth mode enables the growth of single-crystalline and single-domain thin films. Both conversion and the resulting growth mode enable the control of the interface properties in heteroepitaxial multilayer structures on an atomic level.
Rijnders, A. J. H. M., Blank, D. H. A., Choi, J., & Eom, C-B. (2004). Enhanced surface diffusion through termination conversion during epitaxial SrRuO3 growth. Applied physics letters, 84(4), 505-507. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.1640472