Novel synthesis approach for "stubborn" metals and metal oxides

William Nunn, Anusha Kamath Manjeshwar, Jin Yue, Anil K Rajapitamahuni, Tristan K Truttmann, Bharat Jalan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Advances in physical vapor deposition techniques have led to a myriad of quantum materials and technological breakthroughs, affecting all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology which rely on the innovation in synthesis. Despite this, one area that remains challenging is the synthesis of atomically precise complex metal oxide thin films and heterostructures containing "stubborn" elements that are not only nontrivial to evaporate/sublimate but also hard to oxidize. Here, we report a simple yet atomically controlled synthesis approach that bridges this gap. Using platinum and ruthenium as examples, we show that both the low vapor pressure and the difficulty in oxidizing a "stubborn" element can be addressed by using a solid metal-organic compound with significantly higher vapor pressure and with the added benefits of being in a preoxidized state along with excellent thermal and air stability. We demonstrate the synthesis of high-quality single crystalline, epitaxial Pt, and RuO2films, resulting in a record high residual resistivity ratio (=27) in Pt films and low residual resistivity, ∼6 μΩ·cm, in RuO2films. We further demonstrate, using SrRuO3as an example, the viability of this approach for more complex materials with the same ease and control that has been largely responsible for the success of the molecular beam epitaxy of III-V semiconductors. Our approach is a major step forward in the synthesis science of "stubborn" materials, which have been of significant interest to the materials science and the condensed matter physics community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2105713118
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number32
StatePublished - Aug 10 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. We thank Fengdeng Liu for help with the MBE schematic and Darrell Schlom for helpful discussion. This work was primarily supported by the US Department of Energy (DOE) through Grant DESC002021. A.K.M. and T.K.T. acknowledge support from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research through Grants FA9550-19-1-0245 and FA9550-21-1-0025 and partially through NSF Grant DMR-1741801. J.Y. and A.R. acknowledge support from the US DOE through the University of Minnesota Center for Quantum Materials under Award DE-SC0016371. Parts of this work were carried out at the Characterization Facility, University of Minnesota, which receives partial support from NSF through the Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers (MRSEC) program under Award DMR-2011401.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.


  • Atomic layer control
  • Evaporation
  • Molecular beam epitaxy
  • Physical vapor deposition
  • Synthesis

MRSEC Support

  • Shared

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.


Dive into the research topics of 'Novel synthesis approach for "stubborn" metals and metal oxides'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this