Date of this Version
New Journal of Physics 13 (2011) 083037 (10pp); doi:10.1088/1367-2630/13/8/083037
The structural, electronic and dielectric properties of high-quality ultrathin BaTiO3 films were investigated. The films, which were grown by ozone-assisted molecular beam epitaxy on Nb-doped SrTiO3(001) substrates and have thicknesses as low as 8 unit cells (u.c.) (3.2 nm), are unreconstructed and atomically smooth with large crystalline terraces. A strain-driven transition to three-dimensional (3D) island formation is observed for films of 13 u.c. thickness (5.2 nm). The high structural quality of the surfaces, together with dielectric properties similar to bulk BaTiO3 and dominantly TiO2 surface termination, makes these films suitable templates for the synthesis of high-quality metaloxide multiferroic heterostructures for the fundamental study and exploitation of magneto-electric effects, such as a recently proposed interface effect in Fe/BaTiO3 heterostructures based on Fe–Ti interface bonds.