We report that a deionized water leaching and thermal annealing technique can be effective for preparing atomically flat and singly terminated surfaces of single crystalline SrTiO3 substrates. After a two-step thermal-annealing and deionized-water leaching procedure, topography measured by atomic force microscopy shows the evolution of substrates from a rough to step-terraced surface structure. Lateral force microscopy confirms that the atomically flat surfaces are singly terminated. Moreover, this technique can be used to remove excessive strontium oxide or hydroxide composites segregated on the SrTiO3 surface. This acid-etchant-free technique facilitates the preparation of atomically aligned SrTiO3 substrates, which promotes studies on two-dimensional physics of complex oxide interfaces.
|Journal||Applied Physics Letters|
|State||Published - Dec 17 2012|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors thank G. W. J. Hassink, T. Qi, and D. Y. Kim for useful discussions, comments, and experimental help. This research was supported in part by the NSF through Grant No. EPS-0814194, the Center for Advanced Materials, a grant from the Kentucky Science and Engineering Foundation as per Grant Agreement No. KSEF-148-502-12-303 with the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation, and a Research Support Grant from the University of Kentucky Office of the Vice President for Research.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)