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Structural and nanomechanical properties of BiFeO3 thin films deposited by radio frequency magnetron sputtering

Sheng-Rui Jian1*, Huang-Wei Chang2, Yu-Chin Tseng1, Ping-Han Chen2 and Jenh-Yih Juang3

Author affiliations

1 Department of Materials Science and Engineering, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung 840, Taiwan

2 Department of Applied Physics, Tunghai University, Taichung 407, Taiwan

3 Department of Electrophysics, National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu 300, Taiwan

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Citation and License

Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:297  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-297

Published: 25 June 2013


The nanomechanical properties of BiFeO3 (BFO) thin films are subjected to nanoindentation evaluation. BFO thin films are grown on the Pt/Ti/SiO2/Si substrates by using radio frequency magnetron sputtering with various deposition temperatures. The structure was analyzed by X-ray diffraction, and the results confirmed the presence of BFO phases. Atomic force microscopy revealed that the average film surface roughness increased with increasing of the deposition temperature. A Berkovich nanoindenter operated with the continuous contact stiffness measurement option indicated that the hardness decreases from 10.6 to 6.8 GPa for films deposited at 350°C and 450°C, respectively. In contrast, Young's modulus for the former is 170.8 GPa as compared to a value of 131.4 GPa for the latter. The relationship between the hardness and film grain size appears to follow closely with the Hall–Petch equation.

BiFeO3 thin films; XRD; AFM; Nanoindentation; Hardness