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Fe on W(001) from continuous films to nanoparticles: Growth and magnetic domain structure

Niu, Y. R. ORCID:, Man, K. L., Pavlovska, A., Bauer, E. and Altman, M. S. 2017. Fe on W(001) from continuous films to nanoparticles: Growth and magnetic domain structure. Physical Review B 95 (6) , 064404. 10.1103/PhysRevB.95.064404

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The evolution of the structural and magnetic properties of Fe films during growth on the W(001) surface have been studied with low energy electron diffraction, real-time low energy electron microscopy, and quasi-real-time, spin-polarized low energy electron microscopy in the absence of a magnetic field (virgin state). Depending on the growth temperature, different growth modes are observed: growth of atomically rough and highly strained (10.4% tensile) pseudomorphic films at room temperature, kinetically limited layer-by-layer growth (quasi–Frank-van der Merwe growth mode) of smooth pseudomorphic films up to 4 monolayers at around 500 K and growth of fully relaxed three-dimensional Fe islands on top of a thermodynamically stable 2-monolayer-thick wetting layer (Stranski-Krastanov growth mode) at and above 700 K. Around 500 K, layered growth is terminated by partial (2 monolayers) dewetting of the metastable Fe film and formation of thin, partially relaxed, elongated islands on a thermodynamically stable 2 monolayer film. Ferromagnetic order is first detected during growth at room temperature at 2.35 monolayer Fe film thickness. The magnetization is in-plane with a thickness-dependent direction, rotating from the substrate ⟨110⟩ directions at 3 monolayers toward the ⟨100⟩ directions at 4 monolayers and back again toward the ⟨110⟩ directions at about 8 monolayers. The in-plane spin reorientation that occurs at room temperature is accompanied by significant changes of the magnetic domain structure. In the Frank-van der Merwe growth regime, large magnetic domains are observed in metastable 3 and 4 monolayer films. The isolated three-dimensional Fe islands that form in the Stranski-Krastanov regime have vortex, quasi-single domain (C state), or single magnetic domain structures, depending on their size and shape. The detailed results that are obtained with high thickness, lateral and azimuthal angular resolution with spin-polarized low energy electron microscopy are compared with earlier laterally averaging and laterally resolving magnetic studies, and discrepancies are explained.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Publisher: American Physical Society
ISSN: 2469-9950
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 6 September 2017
Date of Acceptance: 6 February 2017
Last Modified: 04 May 2023 23:22

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