Date of this Version
PHYSICAL REVIEW MATERIALS 2, 044401 (2018).
In an attempt to optimize leakage characteristics of α-Cr2O3 thin films, its dielectric properties were investigated at local and macroscopic scale. The films were grown on Pd(111), Pt(111), and V2O3 (0001), supported on Al2O3 substrate. The local conductivity was measured by conductive atomic force microscopy mapping of Cr2O3 surfaces, which revealed the nature of defects that formed conducting paths with the bottom Pd or Pt layer. A strong correlation was found between these electrical defects and the grain boundaries revealed in the corresponding topographic scans. In comparison, the Cr2O3 film on V2O3 exhibited no leakage paths at similar tip bias value. Electrical resistance measurements through e-beam patterned top electrodes confirmed the resistivity mismatch between the films grown on different electrodes. The x-ray analysis attributes this difference to the twin free Cr2O3 growth on V2O3 seeding.