Topographic and electronic structure of cleaved SrTiO3(001) surfaces
The topographic and electronic structure of cleaved SrTiO3(001) surfaces were studied, employing samples that either had or had not been coated with Ti on their outer surfaces prior to fracture. In both cases, SrO- and TiO2-terminated terraces were present on the cleavage surface, enabling in situ studies on either termination. However, the samples coated with Ti prior to fracture were found to yield a rougher morphology on TiO2- terminated terraces as well as a higher density of oxygen vacancies during an annealing (outgassing) step following the coating. The higher density of oxygen vacancies in the bulk of the Ti-coated samples also provides higher conductivity which, in turn, improves a sensitivity of the spectroscopy and reduces the effect of tip-induced band bending. Nonetheless, similar spectral features, unique to each termination, were observed for samples both with and without the Ti coating. Notably, with moderate-temperature annealing following fracture, a strong discrete peak in the conductance spectra, arising from oxygen vacancies, was observed on the SrO-terminated terraces. This peak appears at slightly different voltages for coated and uncoated samples, signifying a possible effect of tip-induced band bending.