Canonical approach to cation flux calibration in oxide molecular-beam epitaxy
Molecular-beam epitaxy (MBE) is the gold standard for the epitaxial growth of complex oxides with the best material properties as determined by respective figures of merit. Unfortunately, once more than one cation is involved in the material desired, MBE growth often becomes plagued by difficulties in stoichiometry control. Instead of relying on a quartz crystal microbalance to measure the fluxes of the individual molecular beams, which lacks accuracy, or reflection high-energy electron diffraction oscillations of the targeted multication oxide in layer-by-layer growth, which lacks general applicability, here, we describe a canonical approach based on the growth of films of the constituent binary oxides or metals individually for cation flux calibration. This method can calibrate the flux of each molecular beam with an absolute accuracy of Â±1%. After describing the growth parameters of binary oxides or metals enabling the individual fluxes of 39 elements of the periodic table to be determined, we demonstrate the efficacy of this approach by applying it to the growth of the quaternary ferromagnetic metal La0.5Sr0.5CoO3-Î´ to achieve films with transport properties rivalling the best reported using thin-film growth techniques providing stoichiometric transfer. Â© 2022 American Physical Society.