Jinkwon Kim, Junsik Mun, Carla M. Palomares García, Bongju Kim, Robin S. Perry, Yongcheol Jo,
Hyunsik Im, Han Gyeol Lee, Eun Kyo Ko, Seo Hyoung Chang, Suk Bum Chung, Miyoung Kim,
Jason W. A. Robinson, Shingo Yonezawa, Yoshiteru Maeno, Lingfei Wang, and Tae Won Noh
Nano Lett. 2021, 21, 4185−4192
Ruddlesden−Popper (RP) phases (An+1BnO3n+1, n = 1, 2,···) have attracted intensive research with diverse functionalities for device applications. However, the realization of a high-quality RP-phase film is hindered by the formation of out-of-phase boundaries (OPBs) that occur at terrace edges, originating from lattice mismatch in the c-axis direction with the A′B′O3 (n = ∞) substrate. Here, using strontium ruthenate RP-phase Sr2RuO4 (n = 1) as a model system, an experimental approach for suppressing OPBs was developed. By tuning the growth parameters, the Sr3Ru2O7 (n = 2) phase was formed in a controlled manner near the film−substrate interface. This higher-order RP-phase then blocked the subsequent formation of OPBs, resulting in nearly defect-free Sr2RuO4 layer at the upper region of the film. Consequently, the Sr2RuO4 thin films exhibited superconductivity up to 1.15 K, which is the highest among Sr2RuO4 films grown by pulsed laser deposition. This work paves the way for synthesizing pristine RP-phase heterostructures and exploring their unique physical properties.