Tailoring the magnetism of GaMnAs films by ion irradiation

Tailoring the magnetism of GaMnAs films by ion irradiation

Li, L.; Zhou, S.; Buerger, D.; Roshchupkina, O.; Rushforth, A.; Campion, R. P.; Yao, S.; Grenzer, J.; Fassbender, J.; Helm, M.

The properties of magnetic metals such as saturation magnetization and magnetic anisotropy can be modified in a controllable manner by energetic ions [1]. GaMnAs is a well known magnetic semiconductor. The ability to tune the magnetic properties of magnetic semiconductors is an important issue in future semiconductor devices. Here we tailored the magnetism of GaMnAs films by He+ ion irradiation. The GaxMn1-xAs films with a Mn concentration of 5% and the easy axis of magnetization lying in-plane have been grown on GaAs substrates by LT-MBE. He+ ions of 650 keV were used to place the peak of damage into the GaAs substrate, so that the GaMnAs epilayer lies in the relatively uniform part of the damage profile. We show that the coercivity can be increased (Fig.1) from 50 Oe to 165 Oe when the dose reaches 3×1014/cm2 ~ 6×1014/cm2. Meanwhile, the saturation magnetization at 5 K is only reduced slightly to 22 emu/cm3 compared to non-irradiated GaMnAs films with a saturation magnetization amounting to 27 emu/cm3. Magneto-transport results indicate that the sheet resistance is increased by about 4 times compared to the non-irradiated GaMnAs film with a sheet resistance of 103 Ω. The irradiated GaMnAs still has an in-plane easy axis of magnetization at 5 K, but the anisotropy energy is much decreased. When the dose increases to 1×1015/cm2, no M-H hysteresis has been probed. Our study demonstrates the tailoring of magnetism and magnetoresistance in GaMnAs films by He+ ion irradiation.
[1] J. Fassbender and J. McCord, J. Magn. Magn. Mater. 320 (2008) 579–596

Keywords: magnetism; GaMnAs; ion irradiation

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