The growth of strongly oriented or epitaxial thin films of metal oxides generally requires relatively high growth temperatures or infusion of energy to the growth surface through means such as ion bombardment. We have grown high quality epitaxial thin films of Co3O4 on different substrates at a temperature as low as 450°C by low-pressure metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) using cobalt(II) acetylacetonate as the precursor. With oxygen as the reactant gas, polycrystalline Co3O4 films are formed on glass and Si(100) in the temperature range 350-550°C. Under similar conditions of growth, highly oriented films of Co3O4 are formed on SrTiO3(100) and LaAlO3(100). The film on LaAlO3(100) grown at 450°C show a rocking curve FWHM of 1.61°, which reduces to 1.32° when it is annealed in oxygen at 725°C. The film on SrTiO3(100) has a FWHM of 0.330 (as deposited) and 0.29° (after annealing at 725°C). The ø-scan analysis shows cube-on-cube epitaxy on both these substrates. The quality of epitaxy on SrTiO3(100) is comparable to the best of the pervoskite-based oxide thin films grown at significantly higher temperatures.
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