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The oxidation of species in the plasma plume during pulsed laser deposition controls both the stoichiometry as well as the growth kinetics of the deposited SrTiO thin films, instead of the commonly assumed mass distribution in the plasma plume and the kinetic energy of the arriving species. It was observed by X-ray diffraction that SrTiO stoichiometry depends on the composition of the background gas during deposition, where in a relative small pressure range between 10−2 mbars and 10−1 mbars oxygen partial pressure, the resulting film becomes fully stoichiometric. Furthermore, upon increasing the oxygen (partial) pressure, the growth mode changes from 3D island growth to a 2D layer-by-layer growth mode as observed by reflection high energy electron diffraction.


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