Microstructural effects of chemical island templating in patterned matrix-pillar oxide nanocomposite
Ryan Comes, Kerry Siebein, Jiwei Lu, Stuart Wolf
The ability to pattern the location of pillars in epitaxial matrix-pillar nanocomposites is a key challenge to develop future technologies using these intriguing materials. One such model system employs a ferrimagnetic CoFe2O4 (CFO) pillar embedded in a ferroelectric BiFeO3 (BFO) matrix, which has been proposed as a possible memory or logic system. These composites self-assemble spontaneously with pillars forming through nucleation at a random location when grown via physical vapor deposition. Recent results have shown that if an island of the pillar material is pre-patterned on the substrate, it is possible to control the nucleation process and determine the locations where pillars form. In this work, we employ electron microscopy and x- ray diffraction to examine the chemical composition and microstructure of patterned CFO-BFO nanocomposites. Cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy is used to examine the chemical composition and nucleation effects at the interface between the template island and resulting pillar. The effect of the microstructure of the template island on the microstructure of the pillar is also explored.