The broad spectrum of electronic and optical properties exhibited by oxides offers tremendous opportunities for microelectronic devices, especially when a combination of properties in a single device is desired. Here we describe the use of reactive molecular-beam epitaxy and pulsed-laser deposition to synthesize functional oxides, including ferroelectrics, ferromagnets, and materials that are both at the same time. Owing to the dependence of properties on direction, it is often optimal to grow functional oxides in particular directions to maximize their properties for a specific application. But these thin film techniques offer more than orientation control; customization of the film structure down to the atomic-layer level is possible. Numerous examples of the controlled epitaxial growth of oxides with perovskite and perovskite-related structures, including superlattices and metastable phases, are shown. In addition to integrating functional oxides with conventional semiconductors, standard semiconductor practices involving epitaxial strain, confined thickness, and modulation doping can also be applied to oxide thin films. Results of fundamental scientific importance as well as results revealing the tremendous potential of utilizing functional oxide thin films to create devices with enhanced performance are described.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ceramics and Composites
- Materials Chemistry