Date of this Version
J. Appl. Phys. 113, 234301 (2013)
An experimental study was conducted on controlling the growth mode of La0.7Sr0.3MnO3 thin films on SrTiO3 substrates using pulsed laser deposition (PLD) by tuning growth temperature, pressure, and laser fluence. Different thin film morphology, crystallinity, and stoichiometry have been observed depending on growth parameters. To understand the microscopic origin, the adatom nucleation, step advance processes, and their relationship to film growth were theoretically analyzed and a growth diagram was constructed. Three boundaries between highly and poorly crystallized growth, 2D and 3D growth, stoichiometric and non-stoichiometric growth were identified in the growth diagram. A good fit of our experimental observation with the growth diagram was found. This case study demonstrates that a more comprehensive understanding of the growth mode in PLD is possible.