Sources of suboxides, providing several advantages over metal sources for the molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) of oxides, are conventionally realized by decomposing the corresponding oxide charge at extreme temperatures. By quadrupole mass spectrometry of the direct flux from an effusion cell, we compare this conventional approach to the reaction of a mixed oxide + metal charge as a source for suboxides with the examples of SnO2 + Sn → 2 SnO and Ga2O3 + 4 Ga → 3 Ga2O. The high decomposition temperatures of the pure oxide charge were found to produce a high parasitic oxygen background. In contrast, the mixed charges reacted at significantly lower temperatures, providing high suboxide fluxes without additional parasitic oxygen. For the SnO source, we found a significant fraction of Sn2O2 in the flux from the mixed charge that was basically absent in the flux from the pure oxide charge. We demonstrate the plasma-assisted MBE growth of SnO2 using the mixed Sn + SnO2 charge to require less activated oxygen and a significantly lower source temperature than the corresponding growth from a pure Sn charge. Thus, the sublimation of mixed metal + oxide charges provides an efficient suboxide source for the growth of oxides by MBE. Thermodynamic calculations predict this advantage for further oxides as well, e.g., SiO2, GeO2, Al2O3, In2O3, La2O3, and Pr2O3.
Efficient suboxide sources in oxide molecular beam epitaxy using mixed metal + oxide charges: The examples of SnO and Ga2O / Hoffmann, Georg; Budde, Melanie; Mazzolini, Piero; Bierwagen, Oliver. - In: APL MATERIALS. - ISSN 2166-532X. - 8:3(2020), p. 031110. [10.1063/1.5134444]