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Characterization of grain boundary disconnections in SrTiO3 part I: the dislocation component of grain boundary disconnections

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Abstract

High-resolution transmission electron microscopy is often used to characterize grain boundaries, but it is usually limited to special high symmetry boundaries with a high density of coincident sites. For these ‘special’ boundaries, both crystals can be brought into a low-index zone-axis with the boundary plane parallel to the incident electron beam. In this case the atomistic structure of the boundary can be solved, which is not possible for other, more general grain boundaries. In the present study, general grain boundaries in SrTiO3 were analyzed using aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy and scanning transmission electron microscopy. These boundaries included at least one type of disconnection (i.e., defects that can have a step and/or a dislocation component). Since the dislocation component of disconnections along general grain boundaries cannot be fully resolved using the methods currently available, a plane matching approach was used to compare disconnections at different boundaries. Using this approach, the dislocation component of the disconnections was partially characterized and was found to have an edge component mainly parallel to {100} and {110}, close to normal to the macroscopic grain boundary plane. The step component of the disconnections was found to be aligned mainly parallel to the same crystallographic planes ({100} and {110}).

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Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge Lothar Houben for assistance with acquiring the data set presented in Figs. 1 and 2 in this manuscript and Fig. S1 and S2 in the supplementary material, and for detailed discussions. The authors thank D. Medlin for his comments on the manuscript and extended discussions. This work was partially supported via a German-Israel Fund (GIF) Grant No. I-1276-401.10/2014.

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Correspondence to Wayne D. Kaplan.

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Hadas Sternlicht: Conducted when the author was at Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Technion—Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa Israel.

Wolfgang Rheinheimer: Conducted when the author was at Institute of Applied Materials, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany.

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Sternlicht, H., Rheinheimer, W., Dunin-Borkowski, R.E. et al. Characterization of grain boundary disconnections in SrTiO3 part I: the dislocation component of grain boundary disconnections. J Mater Sci 54, 3694–3709 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10853-018-3096-4

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