Ar+ ion irradiation is used to induce a structural change from fcc to bcc in a 1.5 nm thick Fe film epitaxially grown on a Cu(100) crystal. Scanning tunneling microscopy and low-energy electron diffraction show the nucleation of bcc nanocrystals, which grow with increasing ion dose. As a consequence of the structural change, the irradiated iron film becomes strongly ferromagnetic at room temperature. We present a model for the process of the transformation and demonstrate writing a magnetic pattern at the 100 nm scale by ion-beam projection lithography.
Corresponding author: A. Biedermann. Reprints also available from M. Schmid (schmid).
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