Epitaxial magnetoelectric BiFeO3 thin films have been prepared on SrRuO3-buffered (0 0 1) SrTiO3 substrates using a novel hybrid liquid-phase epitaxy (HLPE) approach, which is a solid-liquid growth process with delivery from a vapour source by pulsed laser deposition (PLD). The HLPE process enables rapid "liquid assisted" growth of epitaxial films of many functional materials without some of the disadvantages of classical liquid-phase epitaxy (LPE) and of PLD. High growth rates up to 2 nm/s were demonstrated in dense films of 350 nm thickness. The method has great promise for fabrication of device materials where thick, dense epitaxial films are required.
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