Observations of nanocrystals in thin TbFeCo films

Z. G. Li, David Smith, K. Sickafus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Observations of thin films of amorphous TbFeCo by electron microscopy with a resolution limit of better than 0.2 nm invariably reveal the presence of very fine microcrystals (sizes ∼2-5 nm). Bright field imaging, in both plan view and in cross section, indicates that these nanocrystals have the crystal structure of α-Fe or Co. In contrast, crystals of Tb metal (or Tb oxides) have not been observed. Similar observations of FeCo thin films, prepared under identical experimental conditions, reveal much larger crystals (typically 10-50 nm). It is concluded that the presence of the rare earth element Tb is crucial to the microstructure displayed by this kind of material.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)919-921
Number of pages3
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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