Microstructure characterization of BaSnO3 thin films on LaAlO3 and PrScO3 substrates from transmission electron microscopy

Hwanhui Yun, Koustav Ganguly, William Postiglione, Bharat Jalan, Chris Leighton, K. Andre Mkhoyan, Jong Seok Jeong

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Detailed microstructure analysis of epitaxial thin films is a vital step towards understanding essential structure-property relationships. Here, a combination of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) techniques is utilized to determine in detail the microstructure of epitaxial La-doped BaSnO3 films grown on two different perovskite substrates: LaAlO3 and PrScO3. These BaSnO3 films are of high current interest due to outstanding electron mobility at ambient. The rotational disorder of low-angle grain boundaries, namely the in-plane twist and out-of-plane tilt, is visualized by conventional TEM under a two-beam condition, and the degree of twists in grains of such films is quantified by selected-area electron diffraction. The investigation of the atomic arrangement near the film-substrate interfaces, using high-resolution annular dark-field scanning TEM imaging, reveals that edge dislocations with a Burgers vector along [001] result in the out-of-plane tilt. It is shown that such TEM-based analyses provide detailed information about the microstructure of the films, which, when combined with complimentary high-resolution X-ray diffraction, yields a complete structural characterization of the films. In particular, stark differences in out-of-plane tilt on the two substrates are shown to result from differences in misfit dislocation densities at the interface, explaining a puzzling observation from X-ray diffraction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number10245
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

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