STM Studies of Ultra-Thin Overlayers of Cu on SrTiO3(001) Surfaces


Scanning tunneling microscopy has been used to study the initial stage of Cu growth on SrTiO3(001) surfaces. Our STM results show that Cu grows initially into 3-D island-like structures. Two different morphologies were observed. In some areas loosely bound individual Cu islands appear preferentially attached to step edges. The islands were frequently relocated by the STM tip during the scanning as a result of tip-surface interaction. Other areas have higher densities of Cu islands that exhibit a narrow size distribution with an average diameter of 70 Å and are homogeneously distributed on those areas. The driving force for the morphological evolution of Cu on the SrTiO3(001) surface is discussed in terms of surface free energy and interfacial interaction of metal on transition metal oxide surfaces.

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This work was supported by the National Science Foundation under the Presidential Young Investigator's Program grand #DMR-90-58557 (DAB) and under the MRL Program grand #DMR91-20668.

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Correspondence to Yong Liang.

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Liang, Y., Carroll, D.L. & Bonnell, D.A. STM Studies of Ultra-Thin Overlayers of Cu on SrTiO3(001) Surfaces. MRS Online Proceedings Library 318, 653–658 (1993).

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