Solid-Phase Epitaxy of Atomic Layer Deposited PrAlO3 Films Presented at APS by MRSEC Graduate Student

Yajin Chen presented her work on the use of solid-phase epitaxy to create epitaxial complex-oxide interfaces that have promising electronic properties at the APS March Meeting 2019 in Boston, MA.

The presented work is a part of a collaborative project with Prof. Charles H. Winter’s group in the Department of Chemistry at Wayne State University.

“Our work provides new opportunities to form polar/nonpolar oxide interfaces along with the accompanying two-dimensional electron gases in novel geometries,” said Chen.

The presentation was part of the Session R46 DMP: Complex Oxide Interfaces & Heterostructures–Strong Correlations, one of the parallel sessions held on Thursday, March 7 at the conference.

Epitaxial RAlO3/SrTiO3 (R = La, Pr, Nd) oxide interfaces can produce a two-dimensional electron gas (2DEG), but the creation of those interfaces is limited to 2D geometries. Intricate geometries of epitaxial oxide thin films can be created by crystallizing the amorphous layers with thermal heating, which is termed solid-phase epitaxy. Atomic layer deposition (ALD) is employed to deposit the amorphous layers because ALD allows for the conformal deposition of thin films over non-planar surfaces. Prof. Winter’s group successfully developed the growth of amorphous PrAlO3 thin films by ALD. Epitaxial PrAlO3 thin films were achieved on single-crystal (001) SrTiO3 substrates with solid-phase epitaxy through the development of new ALD procedures, by understanding of the crystallization kinetics, and by probing the microstructure and interface structures of the crystallized thin films.

Chen is a graduate student in the Paul G. Evans Research Group at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Members of the Paul G. Evans Research Group in Attendance at the APS March Meeting 2019

While attending the conference, Chen, who will be completing her PhD program soon, was actively job hunting. The APS conference provided helpful resources for job seekers. In the “Industry Day” session of the conference, successful representatives from industry discussed their career paths, provided useful advice for young scientists, and answered questions. In the “Student Lunch with the Experts” session of the conference, Chen had the opportunity to eat lunch with and participate in an informal discussion with an expert on a specific topic. This chance to network with experienced researchers in the field ultimately resulted in a potential post-doc opportunity for Chen.

“I would like to acknowledge the Wisconsin MRSEC for awarding me the Honored Scholar Travel Award, which supported my attendance at this conference. Participating in APS gave me the chance to present my research to a wide audience, learn from experts around the world, and network with accomplished scientists in different areas,” said Chen.

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