Investigations of microstructure of thin TbFeCo films by high-resolution electron microscopy (abstract)

Z. G. Li, David Smith, E. E. Marinero

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1 Scopus citations


High-resolution electron microscopy has been applied to the study of the microstructure of TbFeCo alloys. Recently, we reported on the presence of microcrystals (2.5-7.5 nm) in sputter-deposited TbFeCo alloys,1 but their possible role in influencing the magnetic properties of these alloys is not yet clear. We have conducted further studies on structures consisting of SiN(8.0 nm)/TbFeCo(20 nm)/SiN(12.5 nm)/Si. Observations were made both in top view and cross section using standard techniques such as bright- and dark-field diffraction contrast imaging, as well as high resolution. We have confirmed the presence of nanocrystals in our plan-view observations. In addition, we conducted annealing experiments (ex situ) and recorded changes in magnetic properties such as coercivity. We find after about 36 h annealing time at 200°C that the crystals grow from ∼3 nm to about 20 nm. The H c change was measured to be -35%, but it is noted that most of the change occurred within the first 100 s (-25%). We will conduct further measurements to investigate whether the nanocrystallites are related in any way to the magnetic anisotropy of these alloys.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Dec 1 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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