From Fe3O4/NiO bilayers to NiFe2O4-like thin films through Ni interdiffusion

Autor(en): Kuschel, O.
Buss, R. 
Spiess, W.
Schemme, T. 
Woellermann, J.
Balinski, K.
N'Diaye, A. T.
Kuschel, T. 
Wollschlaeger, J.
Kuepper, K.
Stichwörter: FE3O4(001); GROWTH; IRON-OXIDE FILMS; MAGNETIC CIRCULAR-DICHROISM; Materials Science; Materials Science, Multidisciplinary; MGO(001); NICKEL; Physics; Physics, Applied; Physics, Condensed Matter; REFLECTION; SURFACE-STRUCTURE; X-RAY PHOTOELECTRON; XPS SPECTRA
Erscheinungsdatum: 2016
Herausgeber: AMER PHYSICAL SOC
Journal: PHYSICAL REVIEW B
Volumen: 94
Ausgabe: 9
Zusammenfassung: 
Ferrites with (inverse) spinel structure display a large variety of electronic and magnetic properties, making some of them interesting for potential applications in spintronics. We investigate the thermally induced interdiffusion of Ni2+ ions out of NiO into Fe3O4 ultrathin films, resulting in off-stoichiometric nickel ferrite-like thin layers. We synthesized epitaxial Fe3O4/NiO bilayers on Nb-doped SrTiO3(001) substrates by means of reactive molecular beam epitaxy. Subsequently, we performed an annealing cycle comprising three steps at temperatures of 400 degrees C, 600 degrees C, and 800 degrees C under an oxygen background atmosphere. We studied the changes of the chemical and electronic properties as result of each annealing step with help of hard x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and found a rather homogeneous distribution of Ni and Fe cations throughout the entire film after the overall annealing cycle. For one sample we observed a cationic distribution close to that of the spinel ferrite NiFe2O4. Further evidence comes from low-energy electron diffraction patterns indicating a spinel-type structure at the surface after annealing. Site-and element-specific hysteresis loops performed by x-ray magnetic circular dichroism uncovered the antiferrimagnetic alignment between the octahedral coordinated Ni2+ and Fe3+ ions and the Fe3+ ion in tetrahedral coordination. We find a quite low coercive field of 0.02 T, indicating a rather low defect concentration within the thin ferrite films.
ISSN: 24699950
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.94.094423

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