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Tuning of Curie temperature in Mn5Ge3 films

Xie, Y.; Birowska, M.; Funk, H. S.; Fischer, I. A.; Schwarz, D.; Schulze, J.; Zeng, Y.-J.; Helm, M.; Zhou, S.; Prucnal, S.


We report a change in the structural and magnetic properties of epitaxial Mn5Ge3 on a Ge-on-Si (111) substrate by applying strain engineering through ms-range flash lamp annealing (FLA). X-ray diffraction results demonstrate that during FLA for 20 ms, the formation of nonmagnetic MnxGey secondary phases is suppressed, while the in-plane expansion of the lattice increases with increasing annealing temperature. Temperature-dependent magnetization results indicate that the Curie temperature of Mn5Ge3 rises from 287 K in the as-prepared sample to above 400 K after FLA, making Mn5Ge3 an attractive material for spintronics. Experimental results together with theoretical Monte Carlo simulations allow us to conclude that the expansion of the in-plane lattice causes the increase of the Curie temperature due to enhancement of the ferromagnetic interaction between Mn atoms.

Keywords: Strain engineering; flash lamp annealing (FLA); Curie temperature; ferromagnetic material; epitaxial film

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