Crystallographic structure of ultrathin Fe films on Cu(100)

A. Biedermann, R. Tscheließnig, M. Schmid and P. Varga

Institut für Allgemeine Physik, Technische Universität Wien, A-1040 Wien, Austria

Phys. Rev. Lett. 87 (2001) 086103

We report the observation of bcc-like crystal structures in 2-4 monolayer Fe films grown on fcc Cu(100) using scanning tunneling microscopy. The local bcc structure provides a straightforward explanation for their frequently reported outstanding magnetic properties, i.e., ferromagnetic ordering in all layers with a Curie temperature above 300 K. The non-pseudomorphic structure, which becomes pseudomorphic above 4 ML film thickness, is unexpected in terms of conventional rules of thin film growth and stresses the importance of finite thickness effects in ferromagnetic ultrathin films.

Corresponding author: M. Schmid (schmid< encoded email address >).

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