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The atomic-scale magnetism of Co 2 FeAl Heusler alloy epitaxial thin films

DOI: 10.1063/1.5056193 DOI Help

Authors: Xiaoqian Zhang (Nanjing University) , Wenqing Liu (Nanjing University; Royal Holloway University of London; The University of York) , Yu Yan (Royal Holloway University of London) , Wei Niu (Nanjing University; Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications,) , Bolin Lai (Nanjing University) , Yafei Zhao (Nanjing University) , Wei Wang (Nanjing University) , Liang He (Nanjing University) , Hao Meng (Zhejiang Hikstor Technology Company) , Yongbing Xu (Nanjing University; The University of York)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Applied Physics Letters , VOL 113

State: Published (Approved)
Published: November 2018
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 17930

Abstract: The atomic-scale magnetism of Co2FeAl Heusler alloys has long been an outstanding question, and with the thickness down to the nanometer scale, this becomes even more sophisticated. Here, we report a direct measurement of the Co2FeAl epitaxial thin films on the GaAs(001) substrate with the in-situ magneto-optic Kerr effect and the synchrotron-based X-ray magnetic circular dichroism techniques. Strong uniaxial magnetic anisotropy has been observed from all thicknesses of the Co2FeAl thin films between 3 unit cells (uc) and 20 uc. A critical thickness of 3 uc has been identified, below which an anti-parallel spin component of the Co atoms occurs. This anti-parallel spin component can be responsible for the significantly reduced magnetic moment and the low spin-polarization near the Fermi level of the Co2FeAl.

Journal Keywords: Synchrotrons; Epitaxy; Magnetooptical effects; X-ray spectroscopy; Spintronics; Thin films; Alloys; Magnetic anisotropy

Subject Areas: Materials, Physics


Instruments: I06-Nanoscience