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Tailoring magnetic properties of Co nanocluster assembled films using hydrogen

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

© 2018 Tailoring magnetic properties in nanocluster assembled cobalt (Co) thin films was achieved by admitting a small percentage of H2 gas (∼2%) into the Co gas phase cluster formation chamber prior to deposition. The oxygen content in the films is considerably reduced by the presence of hydrogen during the cluster formation, leading to enhanced magnetic interactions between clusters. Two sets of Co samples were fabricated, one without hydrogen gas and one with hydrogen gas. Magnetic properties of the non-hydrogenated and the hydrogen-treated Co nanocluster assembled films are comparatively studied using magnetic force microscopy and vibrating sample magnetometry. When comparing the two sets of samples the considerably larger coercive field of the H2-treated Co nanocluster film and the extended micrometer-sized magnetic domain structure confirm the enhancement of magnetic interactions between clusters. The thickness of the antiferromagnetic CoO layer is controlled with this procedure and modifies the exchange bias effect in these films. The exchange bias shift is lower for the H2-treated Co nanocluster film, which indicates that a thinner antiferromagnetic CoO reduces the coupling with the ferromagnetic Co. The hydrogen-treatment method can be used to tailor the oxidation levels thus controlling the magnetic properties of ferromagnetic cluster-assembled films.
Journal: Journal of Magnetism & Magnetic Materials
ISSN: 0304-8853
Volume: 458
Pages: 261 - 267
Number of pages: 7
Publication year:2018
Keywords:Materials science, Physics of solids, fluids and plasmas