Epitaxy, microstructure, and processing-structure relationships of TiO2 thin films grown on sapphire (0001) by MOCVD


TiO2 thin films have been deposited on sapphire (0001) substrates under various conditions by metal-organic chemical vapor deposition. The structural properties of the deposited films were characterized by x-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy. The important growth parameters were found to be the deposition temperature and the deposition rate. The ranges studied for the two parameters were 400 to 850 °C and 10 to 120 Å/min, respectively. Depending on the growth conditions, most of the deposited films were either single-phase anatase or rutile, or a mixture of the two. These films were all epitaxial, but none of them were single-crystal films. Three distinct epitaxial relationships were observed between the films and the substrates, and, depending on the growth conditions, a deposited film can contain one, two, or all three of them. The fact that the films we obtained, although epitaxial, were never single crystal is explained based on the consideration of the difference in the rotational symmetries of the substrate surface and the film growth plane. We believe that it should be generally true that, in heteroepitaxial growth, a true single-crystal film can never be obtained as long as the point symmetry group of the substrate surface is not a subgroup of that of the film growth plane.

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Chang, H.L.M., Zhang, T.J., Zhang, H. et al. Epitaxy, microstructure, and processing-structure relationships of TiO2 thin films grown on sapphire (0001) by MOCVD. Journal of Materials Research 8, 2634–2643 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1557/JMR.1993.2634

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