Strain-induced defect superstructure on the SrTiO3(110) surface

Z. Wang, F. Li, S. Meng, J. Zhang, E. W. Plummer, U. Diebold, J. Guo

1 Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics & Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, P. R. China
2 Institut für Angewandte Physik, Technische Universität Wien, 1040 Wien, Austria
3 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, U.S.A.

Phys. Rev. Lett. 111 (2013) 056101

We report on a combined scanning tunneling microscopy and density functional theory calculation study of the SrTiO3(110)-(4 × 1) surface. It is found that antiphase domains are formed along the [1 -1 0]-oriented stripes on the surface. The domain boundaries are decorated by defects pairs consisting of Ti2O3 vacancies and Sr adatoms, which relieve the residual stress. The formation energy of, and interactions between, vacancies result in a defect superstructure. It is suggested that the density and distributions of defects can be tuned by strain engineering, providing a flexible platform for the designed growth of complex oxide materials.

Full text (PDF)

Users with online access to Physical Review Letters can also access the article at the publisher.

Corresponding author: Zhiming Wang (zmwang< encoded email address >). Reprints also available from Ulrike Diebold (diebold< encoded email address >).