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ACS Comb Sci. 2018 Nov 12;20(11):643-652. doi: 10.1021/acscombsci.8b00100. Epub 2018 Oct 26.

Combinatorial Material Science and Strain Engineering Enabled by Pulsed Laser Deposition Using Radially Segmented Targets.

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Felix Bloch Institute for Solid State Physics , Universität Leipzig , Leipzig , Germany.


Vertical composition gradients of ternary alloy thin films find applications in numerous device structures. Up to now such gradients along the growth direction have not been realized by standard pulsed laser deposition (PLD) systems. In this study, we propose an approach based on a single elliptically segmented PLD target suited for the epitaxial growth of vertically graded layers. The composition of the thin films can be varied by a simple adjustment of the position of the PLD laser spot on the target surface. We demonstrate this principle for the Mg xZn1- xO alloy system. Such vertically composition-graded Mg xZn1- xO thin films exhibit high optical quality and a well-defined Mg-content for each layer. No signs of interdiffusion of Mg-atoms between the layers have been found. Further, this method is capable to deposit homogeneous thin films with any desired, well-defined cation composition having the same high optical and structural quality as films grown by conventional PLD.


composition control; pulsed laser deposition; step grading; ternary alloy system; thin films


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