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An in-situ anneal study of graded anisotropy FePtCu thin films

Journal article
Authors Yeyu Fang
Randy K. Dumas
Chaolin Zha
Johan Åkerman
Published in IEEE Magnetics Letters
Volume 2
Pages 5500104
ISSN 1949-307X
Publication year 2011
Published at Department of Physics (GU)
Pages 5500104
Language en
Keywords Magnetism, Spintronics, Graded Materials
Subject categories Magnetism


We provide a detailed study of how the anisotropy (Ku) gradient in a compositionally graded FePtCu film gradually develops as a function of the postannealing temperature (TA). By utilizing the in situ annealing and magnetic characterization capabilities of a physical property measurement system, the evolution of the induced Ku gradient is elucidated. For low TA, the sample primarily remains in the low-Ku A1 phase. At intermediate TA, the gradual development of an A1 to L10 anisotropy gradient occurs. As TA is further increased, a well-developed L10 gradient is realized. Finally, annealing temperatures greater than 475°C reduce the gradient until the film is effectively uniform for TA ≥ 525°C and higher, presumably due to interdiffusion of the Cu through the film thickness. The resulting coercivity shows a nonmonotonic dependence on TA with an initial steep increase as the L10 fraction of the sample increases, a local minimum at TA = 525°C where the gradient vanishes, and a final increase as the uniform L10 film orders completely.

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