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21.07.2020

Induction of uniaxial anisotropy by controlled phase separation in Y-Co thin films

Within the new Collaborative Research Center CRC/TRR 270, a method to induce uniaxial anisotropy in materials with easy-plane anisotropy has been shown, in close collaboration with the advanced electron microscopy and the micromagnetic simulation groups.

Nanostructured Y₂Co₁₇ - YCo₅ thin film magnets – © Shalini Sharma
Nanostructured Y₂Co₁₇ – YCo₅ thin film magnets

In this work, molecular beam epitaxy is utilized to stabilize a nanostructured thin-film magnet of soft magnetic Y2Co17 exchange coupled to hard magnetic YCo5, with enhanced energy density. The nanoscale architecture of the film comprises of a network of coherently interlinked and aligned Y2Co17 and YCo5 building blocks leading to a favorable exchange-coupling and the desired perpendicular anisotropy. The work highlights the importance of thin-film epitaxy in understanding magnetic hardening mechanisms and suggests strategies for a rational design of future sustainable magnetic systems.

S. Sharma, D. Ohmer, A. Zintler, M. Major, I. Radulov, U. Kunz, P. Komissinskiy, B. Xu, H. Zhang, L. Molina-Luna, K. P. Skokov, and L. Alff
Induction of uniaxial anisotropy by controlled phase separation in Y-Co thin films
Phys. Rev. B, 102, 014435 (2020)
doi: 10.1103/PhysRevB.102.014435

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