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  1. null (Ed.)
    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 RuO 2 films, resulting in a record high residual resistivity ratio (=27) in Pt films and low residual resistivity, ∼6 μΩ·cm, in RuO 2 films. We further demonstrate, using SrRuO 3 as an example, the viability of this approach for more complex materials with the same ease and control that has been largely responsible formore »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.« less