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Coatings 2015, 5(4), 802-815; doi:10.3390/coatings5040802

On the Novel Biaxial Strain Relaxation Mechanism in Epitaxial Composition Graded La1−xSrxMnO3 Thin Film Synthesized by RF Magnetron Sputtering

Surface and Nano Engineering Laboratory, Department of Material Science and Engineering, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX 76013, USA
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Academic Editor: Joaquim Carneiro
Received: 1 October 2015 / Revised: 4 November 2015 / Accepted: 6 November 2015 / Published: 11 November 2015
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Abstract

We report on a novel method to fabricate composition gradient, epitaxial La1−xSrxMnO3 thin films with the objective to alleviate biaxial film strain. In this work, epitaxial, composition gradient La1−xSrxMnO3, and pure LaMnO3 and La0.67Sr0.33MnO3 thin films were deposited by radio frequency (RF) magnetron sputtering. The crystalline and epitaxy of all films were first studied by symmetric θ–2θ X-ray diffraction (XRD) and low angle XRD experiments. Detailed microstructural characterization across the film thickness was conducted by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy and electron diffraction. Four compositional gradient domains were observed in the La1−xSrxMnO3 film ranging from LaMnO3 rich to La0.67Sr0.33MnO3 at the surface. A continuous reduction in the lattice parameter was observed accompanied by a significant reduction in the out-of-plane strain in the film. Fabrication of the composition gradient La1−xSrxMnO3 thin film was found to be a powerful method to relieve biaxial strain under critical thickness. Besides, the coexistence of domains with a composition variance is opening up various new possibilities of designing new nanoscale structures with unusual cross coupled properties. View Full-Text
Keywords: magnetron sputtering; strontium doped lanthanum manganite; epitaxial thin films; functionally graded materials; thin film characterization magnetron sputtering; strontium doped lanthanum manganite; epitaxial thin films; functionally graded materials; thin film characterization
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Wang, Y.; Zhang, M.; Meletis, E.I. On the Novel Biaxial Strain Relaxation Mechanism in Epitaxial Composition Graded La1−xSrxMnO3 Thin Film Synthesized by RF Magnetron Sputtering. Coatings 2015, 5, 802-815.

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