Nanometer-scale epitaxial strain release in perovskite heterostructures using "SrAlOx" sliding buffer layers

H. K. Sato*, J. A. Mundy, T. Higuchi, Y. Hikita, C. Bell, D. A. Muller, H. Y. Hwang, Chris Bell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


We demonstrate the strain release of LaAlO3 epitaxial films on SrTiO3 (001) by inserting ultrathin "SrAlOx" buffer layers. Although SrAlOx is not a perovskite, nor stable as a single phase in bulk, epitaxy stabilizes the perovskite structure up to a thickness of 2 unit cells (uc). At a critical thickness of 3 uc of SrAlOx, the interlayer acts as a sliding buffer layer, and abruptly relieves the lattice mismatch between the LaAlO3 film and the SrTiO3 substrate, while maintaining crystallinity. This technique may provide a general approach for strain relaxation of perovskite films far below the thermodynamic critical thickness. (C) 2011 American Institute of Physics. [doi: 0.1063/1.3583459]

Original languageEnglish
Article number171901
Number of pages3
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2011


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