Research Update: Van-der-Waals epitaxy of layered chalcogenide Sb2Te3 thin films grown by pulsed laser deposition
An attempt to deposit a high quality epitaxial thin film of a two-dimensionally bonded (layered) chalcogenide material with van-der-Waals (vdW) epitaxy is of strong interest for non-volatile memory application. In this paper, the epitaxial growth of an exemplary layered chalcogenide material, i.e., stoichiometric Sb2Te3 thin films, is reported. The films were produced on unreconstructed highly lattice-mismatched Si(111) substrates by pulsed laser deposition (PLD). The films were grown by vdW epitaxy in a two-dimensional mode. X-ray diffraction measurements and transmission electron microscopy revealed that the films possess a trigonal Sb2Te3 structure. The single atomic Sb/Te termination layer on the Si surface was formed initializing the thin film growth. This work demonstrates a straightforward method to deposit vdW-epitaxial layered chalcogenides and, at the same time, opens up the feasibility to fabricate chalcogenide vdW heterostructures by PLD.