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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 27, 2025
  2. Thin films of elemental metals play a very important role in modern electronic nano-devices as conduction pathways, spacer layers, spin-current generators/detectors, and many other important functionalities. In this work, by exploiting the chemistry of solid metal-organic source precursors, we demonstrate the molecular beam epitaxy synthesis of elemental Ir and Ru metal thin films. The synthesis of these metals is enabled by thermodynamic and kinetic selection of the metal phase as the metal-organic precursor decomposes on the substrate surface. Film growth under different conditions was studied using a combination of in situ and ex situ structural and compositional characterization techniques. The critical role of substrate temperature, oxygen reactivity, and precursor flux in tuning film composition and quality is discussed in the context of precursor adsorption, decomposition, and crystal growth. Computed thermodynamics quantifies the driving force for metal or oxide formation as a function of synthesis conditions and changes in chemical potential. These results indicate that bulk thermodynamics are a plausible origin for the formation of Ir metal at low temperatures, while Ru metal formation is likely mediated by kinetics.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 14, 2024
  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 22, 2024
  5. Abstract

    Rich electron-matter interactions fundamentally enable electron probe studies of materials such as scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM). Inelastic interactions often result in structural modifications of the material, ultimately limiting the quality of electron probe measurements. However, atomistic mechanisms of inelastic-scattering-driven transformations are difficult to characterize. Here, we report direct visualization of radiolysis-driven restructuring of rutile TiO2under electron beam irradiation. Using annular dark field imaging and electron energy-loss spectroscopy signals, STEM probes revealed the progressive filling of atomically sharp nanometer-wide cracks with striking atomic resolution detail. STEM probes of varying beam energy and precisely controlled electron dose were found to constructively restructure rutile TiO2according to a quantified radiolytic mechanism. Based on direct experimental observation, a “two-step rolling” model of mobile octahedral building blocks enabling radiolysis-driven atomic migration is introduced. Such controlled electron beam-induced radiolytic restructuring can be used to engineer novel nanostructures atom-by-atom.

     
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  6. As an ultrawide bandgap (∼4.1 eV) semiconductor, single crystalline SrSnO3 (SSO) has promising electrical properties for applications in power electronics and transparent conductors. The device performance can be limited by heat dissipation issues. However, a systematic study detailing its thermal transport properties remains elusive. This work studies the temperature-dependent thermal properties of a single crystalline SSO thin film prepared with hybrid molecular beam epitaxy. By combining time-domain thermoreflectance and Debye–Callaway modeling, physical insight into thermal transport mechanisms is provided. At room temperature, the 350-nm SSO film has a thermal conductivity of 4.4 W m−1 K−1, ∼60% lower than those of other perovskite oxides (SrTiO3, BaSnO3) with the same ABO3 structural formula. This difference is attributed to the low zone-boundary frequency of SSO, resulting from its distorted orthorhombic structure with tilted octahedra. At high temperatures, the thermal conductivity of SSO decreases with temperature following a ∼T−0.54 dependence, weaker than the typical T−1 trend dominated by the Umklapp scattering. This work not only reveals the fundamental mechanisms of thermal transport in single crystalline SSO but also sheds light on the thermal design and optimization of SSO-based electronic applications.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 24, 2024
  7. Ultra-high purity elemental sources have long been considered a prerequisite for obtaining low impurity concentrations in compound semiconductors in the world of molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) since its inception in 1968. However, we demonstrate that a “dirty” solid precursor, ruthenium(III) acetylacetonate [also known as Ru(acac)3], can yield single-phase, epitaxial, and superconducting Sr2RuO4 films with the same ease and control as III–V MBE. A superconducting transition was observed at ∼0.9 K, suggesting a low defect density and a high degree of crystallinity in these films. In contrast to the conventional MBE, which employs the ultra-pure Ru metal evaporated at ∼2000 °C as a Ru source, along with reactive ozone to obtain Ru → Ru4+ oxidation, the use of the Ru(acac)3 precursor significantly simplifies the MBE process by lowering the temperature for Ru sublimation (less than 200 °C) and by eliminating the need for ozone. Combining these results with the recent developments in hybrid MBE, we argue that leveraging the precursor chemistry will be necessary to realize next-generation breakthroughs in the synthesis of atomically precise quantum materials.

     
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  8. Growing a thick high-quality epitaxial layer on the β-Ga2O3 substrate is crucial in commercializing β-Ga2O3 devices. Metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) is also well-established for the large-scale commercial growth of β-Ga2O3 and related heterostructures. This paper presents a systematic study of the Schottky barrier diodes fabricated on two different Si-doped homoepitaxial β-Ga2O3 thin films grown on Sn-doped (001) and (010) β-Ga2O3 substrates by MOCVD. X-ray diffraction analysis of the MOCVD-grown sample, room temperature current density–voltage data for different Schottky diodes, and C–V measurements are presented. Diode characteristics, such as ideality factor, barrier height, specific on-resistance, and breakdown voltage, are studied. Temperature dependence (170–360 K) of the ideality factor, barrier height, and Poole–Frenkel reverse leakage mechanism are also analyzed from the J–V–T characteristics of the fabricated Schottky diodes.

     
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  9. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024