Vacancies are the dominant point defects in perovskite oxides, however, detecting and identifying the nature of vacancy defects in thin films remains challenging. This can be achieved using electron-beam methods but concentrations of several percent are required. Here we use a high-flux positron beam, providing high statistics positron lifetime measurements, to identify vacancies in laser ablated SrTiO3 on SrTiO3. The method is capable of subparts per million sensitivity and when combined with density-functional theory provides local structure information. The positron lifetime spectrum depth profile detects the presence of large vacancy clusters in a surface layer, a uniform distribution of Sr vacancies through the bulk of the film and resolves the interface with the substrate.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Physical Review B: Condensed Matter and Materials Physics|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 2010|