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Open AccessArticle

Plasma Enhanced Complete Oxidation of Ultrathin Epitaxial Praseodymia Films on Si(111)

1
Fachbereich Physik, Osnabrück University, Barbarastr. 7, Osnabrück D-49069, Germany
2
Center of Physics and Chemistry of New Materials, Osnabrück University, Barbarastr. 7, Osnabrück D-49069, Germany
3
Innovation for High Performance Microelectronics (IHP), Im Technologiepark 25, Frankfurt (Oder) D-15236, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jan Ingo Flege
Materials 2015, 8(9), 6379-6390; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma8095312
Received: 29 July 2015 / Revised: 10 September 2015 / Accepted: 14 September 2015 / Published: 18 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epitaxial Materials 2015)
Praseodymia films have been exposed to oxygen plasma at room temperature after deposition on Si(111) via molecular beam epitaxy. Different parameters as film thickness, exposure time and flux during plasma treatment have been varied to study their influence on the oxygen plasma oxidation process. The surface near regions have been investigated by means of X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy showing that the plasma treatment transforms the stoichiometry of the films from Pr2O3 to PrO2. Closer inspection of the bulk properties of the films by means of synchrotron radiation based X-ray reflectometry and diffraction confirms this transformation if the films are thicker than some critical thickness of 6 nm. The layer distance of these films is extremely small verifying the completeness of the plasma oxidation process. Thinner films, however, cannot be transformed completely. For all films, less oxidized very thin interlayers are detected by these experimental techniques. View Full-Text
Keywords: praseodymia; ultrathin film; molecular beam epitaxy; plasma enhanced oxidation; strain; phase separation; X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy; low energy electron diffraction; synchrotron radiation X-ray reflectometry; synchrotron radiation X-ray diffraction praseodymia; ultrathin film; molecular beam epitaxy; plasma enhanced oxidation; strain; phase separation; X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy; low energy electron diffraction; synchrotron radiation X-ray reflectometry; synchrotron radiation X-ray diffraction
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Kuschel, O.; Dieck, F.; Wilkens, H.; Gevers, S.; Rodewald, J.; Otte, C.; Zoellner, M.H.; Niu, G.; Schroeder, T.; Wollschläger, J. Plasma Enhanced Complete Oxidation of Ultrathin Epitaxial Praseodymia Films on Si(111). Materials 2015, 8, 6379-6390.

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