In situ anion-doped epitaxial strontium titanate films

Misfit strains arising from a film–substrate mismatch can induce novel phases and properties in the epitaxial films of perovskite oxides. Here we employ yet another effect, namely, strain-assisted formation of oxygen vacancies. We demonstrate the misfit-promoted presence of oxygen vacancies and related substitutional incorporation of anion dopants in the epitaxial films of archetypal perovskite oxide SrTiO3. Both the oxygen vacancies and hydrogen or nitrogen dopants are introduced in situ during the pulsed-laser deposition of the films using compressive substrates. The films exhibit peculiar chemical expansion and optical properties, which are consistent with substitutional anion doping.