Interface magnetic properties in ferromagnetic metal/semiconductor and related heterostructures

Authors: Yu Yan (University of York)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Thesis

State: Published (Approved)
Published: June 2018

Abstract: This dissertation investigates the growth and magnetic properties of magnetic thin films deposited on semiconductor GaAs and the insulator MgO, which could be useful for devices such as Spin-FET and MRAM. CoFeB amorphous films were grown on both GaAs and MgO. We have studied the origin of the uniaxial magnetic anisotropy (UMA) and perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (PMA) with TEM, VSM and XMCD. Our results demonstrated that the orbital moment of Co atoms play an important role to both UMA and PMA. The origin of UMA in Fe/GaAs (100) system with Cr interlayers is explored. The values of UMA in the Fe/GaAs systems were found to be dependent on the thickness of Cr interlayer by the SQUID-VSM measurements. RHEED patterns and TEM images offered the morphology and crystalline structure information of different layers in the samples. Our results show that the UMA disappears when the interlayer Cr forms continuous film of around 5 ML. This offers direct evidence for the first time that the origin of UMA is from the interface bonding rather than the lattice mismatch related film stress. Finally, Fe films were deposited onto GaAs (100) substrate with a heavy metal element Au interface layer. The enhancement of UMA was found in the Fe/Au/GaAs system by the VSM measurements. The XMCD results show that the orbital moment of Fe is enhanced when the Au interlayer is under 0.5 ML, which leads to the enhancement of the UMA in the Fe/Au/GaAs system. Results from the three different systems provide an important understanding of the research into the interface magnetic properties of ferromagnetic metal/semiconductors. These interesting discoveries are very useful for the development of next generation electronic devices like MRAM and SpinFET.

Subject Areas: Materials, Physics

Instruments: I06-Nanoscience , I10-Beamline for Advanced Dichroism

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