In-situ magnetic nano-patterning of Fe films grown on Cu(100)

S. Shah Zaman1, P. Dvorak1, R. Ritter1, A. Buchsbaum1, D. Stickler2, H.P. Oepen2, M. Schmid1, P. Varga1

1 Institut für Angewandte Physik, Technische Universität Wien, 1040 Wien, Austria
2 Institut für Angewandte Physik, Universität Hamburg, 20355 Hamburg, Germany

J. Appl. Phys. 110 (2011) 024309

Metastable paramagnetic face-centered cubic (fcc) Fe films grown on a Cu(100) single crystal at room temperature can be transformed to the ferromagnetic body-centered cubic (bcc) structure by ion irradiation. We have employed this technique to write small ferromagnetic patches by Ar+ irradiation through a gold coated SiN mask with regularly arranged 80-nm diameter holes, which was placed on top of the as-prepared fcc Fe films. Nanopatterning was performed on both 8-monolayer (ML) Fe films grown in ultrahigh vacuum as well as 22-ML films stabilized by dosing carbon monoxide during growth. The structural transformation of these nano-patterned films was investigated using scanning tunneling microscopy. In both 8 and 22-ML fcc Fe films, the bcc needles are found to protrude laterally out of the irradiated part of the sample, limiting the resolution of the technique to a few 10 nm. The magnetic transformation was confirmed by magnetic force microscopy.

Corresponding author: M. Schmid (schmid at iap_tuwien_ac_at).

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