Toward a Low-Temperature Route for Epitaxial Integration of BiFeO3 on Si

Aleksandr V. Plokhikh, Igor A. Karateev, Matthias Falmbigl, Alexander L. Vasiliev, Jason Lapano, Roman Engel-Herbert, Jonathan E. Spanier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Epitaxial thin-film growth enables novel functionalities, particularly if significant barriers to integration with existing technologies, scalability and excessive temperature of films, can be addressed. Here, we demonstrate a step toward addressing both challenges by combining hybrid molecular beam epitaxy and atomic layer deposition to epitaxially integrate BiFeO3 on Si wafers via a SrTiO3 metamorphic buffer layer. The solid-solid transformation of atomic-layer-deposited amorphous Bi-Fe-O films into epitaxial BiFeO3 thin films is investigated by in situ annealing utilizing transmission electron microscopy. The amorphous Bi-Fe-O layer undergoes a very complex crystallization process, encompassing phenomena such as reorientation, recrystallization, and grain growth. Our in situ transmission electron microscopy study revealed that a growth front of epitaxial crystallites emerged from the interface with the (001)-oriented SrTiO3 as temperature increased, whereas randomly oriented BiFeO3 crystallites formed simultaneously away from the interface. Structural rearrangement and recrystallization of crystallites took place at temperatures below 400 °C. At the final stage, above 400 °C, epitaxial crystallites larger than 60 nm merged into a single crystalline film. Our results demonstrate that this approach permits high-quality epitaxial integration of BiFeO3 thin films at back-end-of-line-compatible temperatures below 500 °C on metamorphic SrTiO3 buffer layers on Si.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12203-12210
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number19
StatePublished - May 16 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • General Energy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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