Formation and thermal stability of quasi-amorphous thin films

V. Lyahovitskaya, Y. Feldman, I. Zon, E. Wachtel, K. Gartsman, A. K. Tagantsev, Igor Lubomirsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

The thermal stability of amorphous ionic solids is usually attributed to kinetic considerations related to masstransport. However, there are a number of amorphous ionic solids, which have recently been described, whose unusual resistance to nucleation and subsequent crystallization cannot be explained by mass transport limitations. Examples have been found in a large variety of fields, spanning the range from thin solid films to biomineralization. This poses a question regarding a possible common mechanism for the stabilization of amorphous ionic solids. Here we present a model which explains the formation and thermal stability of quasi-amorphous thin films of BaTiO 3, one of the amorphous systems recently described which exhibit unusual thermal stability. On the basis of the experimental evidence presented we suggest that nucleation of the crystalline phase can occur only if the amorphous phase undergoes volume expansion upon heating and transforms into an intermediate low density amorphous phase. If volume expansion is unobstructed by external mechanical constraints, nucleation proceeds freely. However, thin films are clamped by a substrate; therefore, volume expansion is restricted and the low-density intermediate phase is not formed. As a result, under certain conditions, nucleation may be completely suppressed and the phase which appears is quasi-amorphous. A quasi-amorphous film is under compressive stress and as long as the mechanical constraints are in place it remains stable at the temperatures that normally lead to crystallization of amorphous BaTiO 3. Quasiamorphous thin films of BaTiO 3 exhibit pyroelectricity, the origin of which is also explained by the proposed model.

Original languageEnglish
Article number094205
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Volume71
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2005

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Amorphous films
Thermodynamic stability
thermal stability
nucleation
Thin films
thin films
expansion
Nucleation
pyroelectricity
crystallization
Crystallization
Pyroelectricity
stabilization
Biomineralization
heating
kinetics
Compressive stress
Mass transfer
Stabilization
Crystalline materials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics

Cite this

Formation and thermal stability of quasi-amorphous thin films. / Lyahovitskaya, V.; Feldman, Y.; Zon, I.; Wachtel, E.; Gartsman, K.; Tagantsev, A. K.; Lubomirsky, Igor.

In: Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, Vol. 71, No. 9, 094205, 01.03.2005.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lyahovitskaya V, Feldman Y, Zon I, Wachtel E, Gartsman K, Tagantsev AK et al. Formation and thermal stability of quasi-amorphous thin films. Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics. 2005 Mar 1;71(9). 094205. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevB.71.094205
Lyahovitskaya, V. ; Feldman, Y. ; Zon, I. ; Wachtel, E. ; Gartsman, K. ; Tagantsev, A. K. ; Lubomirsky, Igor. / Formation and thermal stability of quasi-amorphous thin films. In: Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics. 2005 ; Vol. 71, No. 9.
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