What is PLD?
Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD) is a versatile thin film deposition technique. A pulsed laser (~20 ns pulse width) rapidly evaporates a target material forming a thin film that retains target composition. This unique ability of stoichiometeric transfer of target composition into the film was realized first by the research team led by Dr. Venkatesan at Bell Communications Research, NJ, USA, nearly 30 years ago while depositing high temperature superconducting (YBa2Cu3O7) thin films. Since then, PLD has become the preferred deposition technique where ever thin films of complex material compositions are considered. Another unique feature of PLD is its ability for rapid prototyping of materials. The energy source (pulsed laser) being outside the deposition chamber, facilitates a large dynamic range of operating pressures (10-10 Torr to 500 Torr) during material synthesis. By controlling the deposition pressure and substrate temperature and using relatively small target sizes, a variety of atomically controlled nano-structures and interfaces can be prepared with unique functionalities.