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Room-temperature local ferromagnetism and its nanoscale expansion in the ferromagnetic semiconductor Ge$$_{1-x}$$Fe$$_{x}$$

Wakabayashi, Yuki*; Sakamoto, Shoya*; Takeda, Yukiharu; Ishigami, Keisuke*; Takahashi, Yukio*; Saito, Yuji; Yamagami, Hiroshi; Fujimori, Atsushi*; Tanaka, Masaaki*; Oya, Shinobu*

We investigate the local electronic structure and magnetic properties of the group-IV-based ferromagnetic semiconductor, Ge$$_{1-x}$$Fe$$_{x}$$ (GeFe), using soft X-ray magnetic circular dichroism. Our results show that the doped Fe 3$$d$$ electrons are strongly hybridized with the Ge 4$$p$$ states, and have a large orbital magnetic moment relative to the spin magnetic moment, namely $$m_{rm orb}$$/$$m_{rm spin}$$ $$approx$$ 0.1. We find that nanoscale local ferromagnetic regions, which are formed through ferromagnetic exchange interactions in the high-Fe-content regions of the GeFe films, exist even at room temperature, well above the Curie temperature of 20 - 100K. We observe the intriguing nanoscale expansion of the local ferromagnetic regions with decreasing temperature, followed by a transition of the entire film into a ferromagnetic state at the Curie temperature.



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Category:Multidisciplinary Sciences



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