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[en] A granular magnetic material, Co-Fe-Hf-O, has been developed-using dc pulsed magnetron reactive sputtering. The deposition rate is as high as 1.3 nm/s. The electrical and magnetic properties of Co-Fe-Hf-O film can be tuned by changing O2 during deposition. A highly resistive, magnetically soft film has been achieved in a small range of the O2/(Ar+O2) gas flow ratio. The origin of the dependence of magnetic and electrical properties of this material is studied and explained by monitoring the evolution of the film microstructure, using x-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy
[en] Long-range order and phase transitions in two-dimensional (2D) systems—such as magnetism, superconductivity, and crystallinity—have been important research topics for decades. The issue of 2D crystalline order has reemerged recently, with the development of exfoliated atomic crystals. Understanding the dimensional limit of crystalline phases, with different types of bonding and synthetic techniques, is at the foundation of low-dimensional materials design. We study ultrathin membranes of SrTiO3, an archetypal perovskite oxide with isotropic (3D) bonding. Atomically controlled membranes are released after synthesis by dissolving an underlying epitaxial layer. Although all unreleased films are initially single-crystalline, the SrTiO3 membrane lattice collapses below a critical thickness (5 unit cells). This crossover from algebraic to exponential decay of the crystalline coherence length is analogous to the 2D topological Berezinskii-Kosterlitz-Thouless (BKT) transition. Finally, the transition is likely driven by chemical bond breaking at the 2D layer-3D bulk interface, defining an effective dimensional phase boundary for coherent crystalline lattices.
[en] Specimen preparation remains a practical challenge in transmission electron microscopy and frequently limits the quality of structural and chemical characterization data obtained. Prevailing methods for thinning of specimens to electron transparency are serial in nature, time consuming, and prone to producing artifacts and specimen failure. This work presents an alternative method for the preparation of plan-view specimens using isotropic vapor-phase etching with integrated etch stops. An ultrathin amorphous etch-stop layer simultaneously serves as an electron transparent support membrane whose thickness is defined by a controlled growth process such as atomic layer deposition with sub-nanometer precision. This approach eliminates the need for mechanical polishing or ion milling to achieve electron transparency, and reduces the occurrence of preparation induced artifacts. Furthermore, multiple specimens from a plurality of samples can be thinned in parallel due to high selectivity of the vapor-phase etching process. These features enable dramatic reductions in preparation time and cost without sacrificing specimen quality and provide advantages over wet etching techniques. Finally, we demonstrate a platform for high-throughput transmission electron microscopy of plan-view specimens by combining the parallel preparation capabilities of vapor-phase etching with wafer-scale micro- and nanofabrication. - Highlights: • Parallel thinning of plan-view specimens enables high-throughput microscopy studies. • The support membrane thickness is controlled with sub-nanometer precision. • No physical etching (polishing, dimpling, or ion milling) is required. • Large area and uniformly thin specimens are suitable for Cs-corrected HRTEM. • Wafer-scale integration enables custom specimens for in situ experiments.
[en] Epitaxy can be used to direct nanowire deposition and to influence the crystallographic orientation of nanowires during their nucleation and growth via the vapor–liquid–solid mechanism. We have investigated rapid thermal chemical vapor deposition of epitaxial Ge nanowires and have used it to separately study nanowire nucleation and growth. This work has provided important insights into deep-subeutectic Ge nanowire growth using Au catalyst particles. Germanium nanowires have also been studied as the cores in epitaxial Ge core/Si shell nanowires. We have studied the conditions under which strain-driven surface roughening and dislocations formation occur in these coaxial nanowire heterostructures. Our results indicate that suppression of Si shell surface roughening can lead to fully strained, coherent core/shell nanowires. Recently, we have used vertical arrays of Ge (1 1 1) nanowires grown at low temperatures on Si substrates to seed liquid-phase epitaxy of large-area amorphous Ge islands above the substrate surface. This work demonstrates a potential approach for dense vertical integration of Ge-based devices on Si substrates, for on-chip optoelectronics or 3D integrated circuit applications
[en] We demonstrate the p-type doping of Ge nanowires (NWs) and p-n junction arrays in a scalable vertically aligned structure with all processing performed below 400 deg. C. These structures are advantageous for the large scale production of parallel arrays of devices for nanoelectronics and sensing applications. Efficient methods for the oxide encapsulation, chemical mechanical polishing and cleaning of vertical Ge NWs embedded in silicon dioxide are reported. Approaches for avoiding the selective oxidation and dissolution of Ge NWs in aqueous solutions during chemical mechanical polishing and cleaning of oxide-encapsulated Ge NWs are emphasized. NWs were doped through the epitaxial deposition of a B-doped shell and transport measurements indicate doping concentrations on the order of 1019 cm-3.
[en] Nanocrystalline copper clusters embedded in silicon carbide were made by island growth during sputter deposition. The distribution and morphology of metal clusters were observed by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. To investigate chemical bonding at the copper-silicon carbide interface, we studied the electronic states of copper and silicon using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). It was found that the formation of copper silicide was suppressed in this system and that small shifts in binding energy were observed for different sizes of clusters, which was different from the chemical shift for copper silicide formation
[en] High-quality thin films of the ferromagnetic insulator europium(II) sulfide (EuS) were fabricated by pulsed laser deposition on Al2O3 (0001) and Si (100) substrates. A single orientation was obtained with the  planes parallel to the substrates, with atomic-scale smoothness indicates a near-ideal surface topography. The films exhibit uniform ferromagnetism below 15.9 K, with a substantial component of the magnetization perpendicular to the plane of the films. Optimization of the growth condition also yielded truly insulating films with immeasurably large resistance. This combination of magnetic and electric properties opens the gate for future devices that require a true ferromagnetic insulator