Pulsed Laser Deposition: Fundamentals, Applications, and Perspectives
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Pulsed laser deposition (PLD) has established itself as one of the pillar techniques for the growth of thin films and nanostructures. The fundamental aspects and applications of PLD described in this chapter do not aim to offer an exhaustive view about this field of science, but rather to describe a brief evolution of its conceptual background in order to settle on the most prominent state-of-the-art achievements. The fundamental discussion around the technique emphasizes how initial efforts to achieve a comprehensive picture that relates target laser ablation to plasma kinetics and to thin film growth were critical in understanding the overwhelming complexity of the relationship between these processes and experimental parameters, such as laser pulse properties, type of vacuum or ambient atmosphere, substrate characteristics, and others. With these in mind, state-of-the-art thin films grown by PLD came to rely on an ab initio design of interfacial characteristics that was achieved by correlating their underlying physical interactions to experimental conditions. This approach has yielded remarkable results, particularly for multicomponent thin films, in view of next-generation applications in ferroelectrics and multiferroics, superlattices, photocatalysis, photovoltaics, etc. The perspectives of PLD in relation to the latest developments in the field are also discussed.
One of the authors (M.D.) would like to acknowledge the funding and support received through the Romanian Ministry of Research and Innovation, PN-III-P4-ID-PCCF-2016-0033, 7/2018, as well as the collaboration between SSC Pacific and INFLPR in the frame of CRADA agreement NCRADA-SSCPacific -18-309.
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