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Depth selective magnetic phase coexistence in FeRh thin films

Griggs, W.; Eggert, B.; Liedke, M. O.; Butterling, M.; Wagner, A.; Kentsch, U.; Hirschmann, E.; Grimes, M.; Caruana, A. J.; Kinane, C.; Wende, H.; Bali, R.; Thomson, T.

We demonstrate the manipulation of magnetic phasesin FeRh thin filmsthrough atomic displacementsand the distributionof structural defects. Atomic scale disorder can be controlled via irradiation withlight noble gas ions, producingdepth-varying nanoscale phase configurationsof distinct antiferromagnetic, ferromagnetic and paramagnetic regions. Here, we perform a spatial characterization of the magnetic phasesandthe local magnetic environment around the Fe atoms,as well as the variation ofthe open-volumes around atomic sites. Thus,a direct correspondence between the existence of the three magnetic phases andlattice defects is revealed. By careful selection of the irradiating fluence, we show that it is possible to produce simple and thermally stable magnetic configurations, such as uniform magnetisation or a bilayer phase structure.Furthermore, the thin film surface and interfaces are observed as the nucleation sites for the transitions between the phases. These results demonstrate a sensitive nanoscale manipulation of magnetic properties, shedding light on magnetic ordering in alloy lattices and broadening the scope for applications.

Keywords: Magnetic modification; PNR; Induced disorder; Phase transitions; FeRh

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Publ.-Id: 31555