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Origin of magnetically dead layers in spinel ferrites $$M$$Fe$$_2$$O$$_4$$ grown on Al$$_2$$O$$_3$$; Effects of postdeposition annealing studied by XMCD

Nonaka, Yosuke*; Wakabayashi, Yuki*; Shibata, Goro ; Sakamoto, Shoya*; Ikeda, Keisuke*; Chi, Z.*; Wan, Y.*; Suzuki, Masahiro*; Tanaka, Arata*; Tanaka, Masaaki*; Fujimori, Atsushi*

We study the electronic and magnetic states of as-grown and annealed $$M$$Fe$$_2$$O$$_4$$(111)/Al$$_2$$O3(111) ($$M =$$Co, Ni) thin films with various thicknesses grown on Si(111) substrates with the $$gamma$$-Al$$_2$$O$$_3$$(111)buffer layers by using X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) and X-ray magnetic circular dichroism (XMCD), to investigate magnetically dead layers in these films. Although the magnetically dead layers in the as-grown samples are formed near the interface with the Al$$_2$$O$$_3$$ buffer layer, we reveal that ferrimagnetic order is partially recovered by postdeposition annealing at 973 K for 48 hours in air. By analyzing the line shapes of the XAS and XMCD spectra, we conclude that, in the dead layers, there are a significant number of vacancies at the $$T_d$$ sites of the spinel structure, which may be the microscopic origin of the degraded ferrimagnetic order in the $$M$$Fe$$_2$$O$$_4$$ thin films.



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Category:Materials Science, Multidisciplinary



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