Enhanced permeability dielectric FeCo/Al2O3 multilayer thin films with tailored properties deposited by magnetron sputtering on silicon

Abstract : We have studied the structural and magnetic properties of enhanced-permeability-dielectric FeCo/Al2O3-multilayer thin films deposited on 8 ''-Si wafers in an industrial magnetron sputtering system. The EPD-multilayers consist of 25 periods of alternating nanometer-thick FeCo-layers deposited by DC sputtering from a Fe60Co40 target and Al2O3-interlayers deposited by RF sputtering from an Al2O3 target. We tuned the magnetic properties of these thin films by varying the thickness of FeCo-layers from 1.1nm to 2.1nm, while the thickness of Al2O3-interlayers remained unchanged (3.5nm). The formation of layers of disconnected FeCo-nanoparticles separated by an Al2O3-matrix was revealed by grazing incidence small angle X-ray-scattering. Further insight into the microstructure of these layers was obtained from X-ray-reflectivity, highly asymmetric-X-ray-diffraction and non-coplanar grazing-incidence-diffraction. The Fe/Co ratio in the FeCo-layers obtained from X-ray-fluorescence measurements was (59 +/- 1)/(41 +/- 1), which is in very good agreement with the nominal value in the Fe60C40 target. Using the standing wave technique we found that most of the Fe and Co atoms were located inside the polycrystalline grains, except for a small fraction that diffused into the Al2O3-matrix, and that the thinner the FeCo-layers thickness the higher the fraction of diffused atoms with respect to those in the grains. Zero-field-cooled, field-cooled, and hysteresis (B-H) and (M-H) measurements showed that the FeCo/Al2O3-multilayers with FeCo-layers thinner than 1.7-1.8 nm exhibit superparamagnetic behavior (no coercivity and remanence) at room temperature with peak relative low-field permeability up to 887. By exceeding this critical thickness, the neighboring FeCo-aggregates started to coalesce, and this led to the ferromagnetic behavior revealed by a finite coercivity and remanence in the hysteresis loops.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, July 17, 2019 - 12:22:49 PM
Last modification on : Friday, July 19, 2019 - 1:31:02 AM

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Claudiu V. Falub, Srinivas V. Pietambaram, Oguz Yildirim, Mojmir Meduna, Ondrej Caha, et al.. Enhanced permeability dielectric FeCo/Al2O3 multilayer thin films with tailored properties deposited by magnetron sputtering on silicon. AIP Advances, American Institute of Physics- AIP Publishing LLC, 2019, 9 (3), ⟨10.1063/1.5079477⟩. ⟨cea-02186483⟩

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