Deposition of epitaxial α-Fe2O3 layers for exchange bias studies by reactive dc magnetron sputtering

C. Leighton, A. Hoffmann, M. R. Fitzsimmons, J. Nogués, Ivan K. Schuller

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Abstract

We describe the deposition and characterization of epitaxial thin films of the iron oxide haematite (α-Fe2O3), a promising candidate for fundamental studies of exchange anisotropy as well as for high thermal stability applications. The films were deposited by reactive dc magnetron sputtering. Structural characterization was by large-angle X-ray diffraction and grazing-incidence reflectivity (with the scattering vector normal to the sample plane), in-plane grazing-incidence diffraction (scattering vector in the sample plane) and reflection high-energy electron diffraction. Optimized sputtering conditions result in good epitaxy both in the growth direction and in the plane, as well as very smooth surfaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1927-1934
Number of pages8
JournalPhilosophical Magazine B: Physics of Condensed Matter; Statistical Mechanics, Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Properties
Volume81
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We would like to thank S. Kim for assistance with RHEED measurements and for illuminating discussions. This work was supported by the US Department of Energy, BES-DMS, under contract W-7405-Eng-36.

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