Optimized Growth of Heteroepitaxial (111) NiFe2O4 Thin Films on (0001) Sapphire with Two In-Plane Variants via Chemical Solution Deposition


Author to whom correspondence should be addressed. e-mail: sseifik@ncsu.edu


(111)-oriented epitaxial thin films of nickel ferrite (NFO) are grown on c-plane sapphire [α-Al2O3(0001)] substrates using a chemical solution deposition technique. The processing conditions, including pyrolysis and annealing temperatures, are varied to achieve a film that shows maximum texture and epitaxy. It is shown that increasing the pyrolysis temperature to 400°C and decreasing the annealing temperature to 750°C for 10 min result in the highest degree of texture in the films. Lower film thickness also leads to a higher degree of texture. Microstructural studies confirm an in-plane epitaxial relationship between the (111) NFO film and the (0001) Al2O3 substrate in two variants, [110]NFO || math formula or math formula.