Local Control over Nucleation of Epitaxial Thin Films by Seed Layers of Inorganic Nanosheets

Maarten Nijland, S.K. Chinnasamy Palanisamy, R. Lubbers, David H.A. Blank, Augustinus J.H.M. Rijnders, Gertjan Koster, Johan E. ten Elshof

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Nanosheets of Ti0.87O2 and Ca2Nb3O10 were synthesized and transferred onto Si substrates by Langmuir–Blodgett deposition. Using pulsed laser deposition, SrRuO3 films were formed on top of these samples. The underlying nanosheets determined both the morphology and crystallographic orientation of the films. SrRuO3 grew preferentially in the [110]pc direction on Ti0.87O2 nanosheets, while growth proceeded in the [001]pc direction on Ca2Nb3O10 nanosheets (pc refers to the pseudocubic unit cell of SrRuO3). Besides macroscopic control over the out-of-plane crystal direction, single crystal orientations were measured by electron backscatter diffraction on the level of individual nanosheets, indicating that epitaxial growth was achieved on the nanosheets as imposed by their well-defined crystal lattices. The nanosheets also had a clear effect on the magnetic properties of the films, which showed anisotropic behavior only when a seed layer was used. A monolayer consisting of a mixture of both types of nanosheets was made to locally control the nucleation of SrRuO3. In this context, SrRuO3 was used as model material, as it was used to illustrate that nanosheets can be a unique tool to control the orientation of films on a (sub-)micrometer length scale. This concept may pave the way to the deposition of various other functional materials and the fabrication of devices where the properties are controlled locally by the different crystallographic orientations.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)2777-2785
Number of pages9
JournalACS applied materials & interfaces
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • IR-94855
  • METIS-303195

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