The heteroepitaxial growth of hexagonal ErF3 onto CaF2(1 1 1) substrates using the molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) method is reported for the first time. Results of the X-ray rocking-curve (XRC) analyses showed the presence of the epitaxial relationship as (0 0 0 1)ErF3∥(1 1 1)CaF2. Reflection high-energy electron diffraction (RHEED) investigation suggests the growth of hexagonal metastable ErF3 with the epitaxial relationship of (0 0 0 1)ErF3∥(1 1 1)CaF2, (0 1 1 0)ErF3∥(1 1 2)CaF2, (2 1 1 0)ErF3∥(0 1 1)CaF2. Detailed analysis of RHEED pattern elucidates that the metastable ErF3 has the space group setting of P63/mmc, and among the several models proposed for LaF3-type structure, this setting is the unique one which is consistent with the observation of RHEED patterns. The up-conversion property of ErF3 for green-light emission (λ = 538 nm) pumped by an AlGaAs diode laser (λ = 798 nm) is investigated.
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