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Phys Rev Lett. 2003 Mar 14;90(10):105901. Epub 2003 Mar 12.

Observation of vacancy defect migration in the cation sublattice of complex oxides by 18O tracer experiments.

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Institut für Werkstoffe der Elektrotechnik, RWTH Aachen, Germany.


We report on 18O tracer diffusion experiments and model calculations for the study of cation vacancy migration in oxide crystals. The model takes advantage of the electrostatic coupling forces between anion and cation defects that allow the evolution of the cation vacancy profile to be observed by anion tracer experiments. Applied to SrTiO3, the ambipolar diffusion of strontium vacancies with H(A)=3.5 eV was found to be the dominant reequilibration mechanism of the cation sublattice. This result is in contrast to earlier studies proposing the formation of SrO intergrowth phases.

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