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).Users with online access to Journal of Applied Physics can access the article from the publisher.
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