Reactive radio frequency (RF) sputtering was used to grow cerium-doped yttrium iron garnet (YIG) films on magnesium oxide substrates. Magnesium oxide has been proven to be a good buffer material for semiconducting substrates. Reactive sputtering was not effective for cerium doping because the cerium target reacted with the oxygen in the sputtering gas. The films were amorphous as deposited. Stoichiometric compositions yielded smooth, polycrystalline garnet films on annealing. The effects of fluctuations in the yttrium-to-iron ratio were studied. Separate iron and yttrium targets were cosputtered in order to tailor the composition systematically along the iron-yttrium binary phase diagram. Oxygen content was found to be important in the formation of garnet and in the prevention of secondary phases. The garnet films had strong in-plane magnetizations and small coercive fields, which have promise for waveguide and switch devices, respectively.
- Reactive sputtering
- Yttrium iron garnet