Induced polarized state in intentionally grown oxygen deficient KTaO3 thin films


Deliberately oxygen deficient potassium tantalate thin films were grown by RF magnetron sputtering on Si/SiO2/Ti/Pt substrates. Once they were structurally characterized, the effect of oxygen vacancies on their electric properties was addressed by measuring leakage currents, dielectric constant, electric polarization, and thermally stimulated depolarization currents. By using K2O rich KTaO3 targets and specific deposition conditions, KTaO3-delta oxygen deficient thin films with a K/Ta = 1 ratio were obtained. Room temperature X-ray diffraction patterns show that KTaO3-delta thin films are under a compressive strain of 2.3% relative to KTaO3 crystals. Leakage current results reveal the presence of a conductive mechanism, following the Poole-Frenkel formalism. Furthermore, dielectric, polarization, and depolarization current measurements yield the existence of a polarized state below T-pol similar to 367 degrees C. A Cole-Cole dipolar relaxation was also ascertained apparently due to oxygen vacancies induced dipoles. After thermal annealing the films in an oxygen atmosphere at a temperature above T-pol, the aforementioned polarized state is suppressed, associated with a drastic oxygen vacancies reduction emerging from annealing process. (C) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.



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Mota, DA; Romaguera-Barcelay, Y; Tkach, A; de la Cruz, JP; Vilarinho, PM; Tavares, PB; Moreira, JA; Almeida, A

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This work was supported by Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology FCT (PTDC/CTM/64805/2006). A. Tkach also acknowledges FCT for financial support (SFRH/BPD/34607/2007).

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