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Original Russian Text © A.S. Borukhovich, N.I. Ignat’eva, A.I. Galyas, S.S. Dorofeœchik, K.I. Yanushkevich, 2006, published in Pis’ma v Zhurnal Éksperimental’noœ i Teoreticheskoœ Fiziki, 2006, Vol. 84, No. 9, pp. 592–595.
Thin-Film Ferromagnetic Composite Material for Spintronics
A. S. Borukhovicha, N. I. Ignat’evaa, A. I. Galyasb, S. S. Dorofeœchikb, and K. I. Yanushkevichb
of Solid State Chemistry, Ural Division, Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Pervomaœskaya 91, Yekaterinburg, 620219 Russia e-mail: email@example.com b Joint Institute of Solid State and Semiconductor Physics, National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, ul. Brovki 17, Minsk, 220072 Belarus
Received June 7, 2006; in ﬁnal form, September 13, 2006
The results of a study of the magnetic and other parameters of thin-ﬁlm EuO:Fe composites, which really meet the requirements imposed on the use of them as spin injectors in the developed semiconductor spin-electronic structures capable of operating under normal conditions at room temperatures, are reported. PACS numbers: 75.25.+z, 85.75.-d DOI: 10.1134/S0021364006210077
Previously , the results of the synthesis and the magnetic and electric characterization of ﬁnely dispersed powder EuO:Fe composite materials versus their composition (depending on the Fe content of the magnetic semiconductor EuO) were presented. In particular, the “classical” low-temperature ferromagnetic semiconductor EuO was chosen as a composite base matrix because, among all of the known materials from this class, only this compound practically exhibits a 100% degree of spin polarization of current carriers with ferromagnetic ordering of the spins of Eu2+ ions. This circumstance provides an opportunity to perform spin-polarized current transfer in the EuO/nonmagnetic semiconductor spin-electronic structures to a much greater extent and to observe related physical effects . Unlike all of the other extensively studied semiconductor spin-electronic structures based on dilute magnetic semiconductors, spin-orientation effects in them are observed at a level of ~1% with current transfer even at low temperatures . If the above advantage is achieved to a considerable extent with the use of the previously developed materials , the above composites can be the injectors of spin-oriented electrons in spintronic structures at room (or higher) temperatures under certain conditions. One of these conditions is the preparation of such a material as thin-ﬁlm layers, which can be supported onto nonmagnetic wide-band-gap semiconductors with the retention of characteristics inherent to these materials. In these cases, thin-ﬁlm contact structures really become suitable base materials for the development of logic devices for the spin information systems of quantum computers and other solidstate semiconductor spin-electronic devices (spin ﬁl-
ters, magnetic-ﬁeld-tuned and current-tuned millimeter-wave and submillimeter-wave lasers, etc.). In this article, we report new data on the preparation and magnetic, optical, and electric characterization of thin ﬁlms of the above composite materials. Procedures for the preparation of ﬁlms with different thicknesses by depositing them onto optically transparent glass substrates under conditions that meet the requirements of industrial technologies were developed. A standard vacuum sputtering technique and the laser sputtering of a pellet or a ﬂash technique (in the case of the preparation of a ﬁlm from a loose starting material) were used. The target pellet was presintered from a ﬁnely dispersed composite powder. In both cases, the starting composite material for sputtering corresponded to the formula (EuO)0.75Fe0.25, which corresponded to the semiconducting character of conductivity inherent to this composition at room temperature in terms of both rating and the ρ(T) function. This requirement is necessary for the development and stable operation of semiconductor spin-electronic devices . For honesty, note that the true composition of the resulting ﬁlm composite material was hardly consistent with the initial powder composition (the kinetics of the process was not studied), because a difference between the partial pressures of evaporated phases occurred. This was evidenced by the positions and intensities of corresponding peaks in the x-ray diffraction patterns of starting and thin-ﬁlm composite materials: the amount of metal phase decreased in the ﬁlms. Therefore, only the properties of the resulting thin-ﬁlm composite could indicate that the aim was achieved. In accordance with the above x-ray data, the resulting composite ﬁlms were always crystalline with the lattice parameter a =
Recall that the ferromagnetic semiconductor monoxide EuO is paramagnetic at T > 70 K  and its contribution to the magnetization of the composite at higher temperatures will reach a minimum. 3. Judging from the rated magnetizations of the ﬁlms. and it closely resembles the data in Fig. 1. because europium monoxide does not form solid solutions with transition group metals (Fe. 1) and ﬁlms with approximately equal thicknesses prepared from a pellet (Fig. 84 No.25 composite powder in the ﬁled H = 0. in the ﬁrst case. 1. which could result in an increase in its Curie temperature .86 T on a magnetic balance at the Joint Institute of Solid State and Semiconductor Physics. Same as in Fig. but for a composite ﬁlm 480 nm in thickness prepared from a pellet. Be. there is no other apparent reason for the substantiation of the increased rated magnetization of the composite in the speciﬁed temperature region.THIN-FILM FERROMAGNETIC COMPOSITE MATERIAL 503 Fig. This is likely a peculiar temperature of the superparamagnetism–paramagnetism transition in the speciﬁed composite material. Nevertheless. 2. and Si) . Same as in Fig.75Fe0. 1. 3) are given below. this is evidenced by an inﬂection of the σ(T) curve in the region close to 480 K. the rated value of σ of the composite in the region of high temperatures corresponds to the fraction of this metal present in the bulk of the sample. glass.5140 nm. Temperature dependence of the speciﬁc magnetization of (EuO)0. 0. In particular. 2). which is characteristic of europium monoxide (B1 structure). 1. The magnetization was measured using a ponderomotive method in a ﬁeld of 0. superparamagnetism can also manifest itself in relatively thick ﬁlms over the above temperature region (Fig. the σ(T) functions are identical on both heating and cooling the sample. The heating of ﬁlms to higher temperatures (to the ferro–para Fe transition) resulted in the softening of the substrate and its partial (G cm3 g–1) cm3 (G cm3 g–1) (G cm3 g–1) Fig. Co. with consideration for previous experience in the deposition of EuO ﬁlm layers onto various substrates (mica. However. In our opinion. but for a composite ﬁlm 310 nm in thickness prepared from powder by the ﬂash method.5125–0. the magnetization of the parent powder at temperatures T > 500 K fully corresponds to the presence of α-iron particles in it with the inherent Curie point at T ~ 1000 K. we believe that crystallinity will also be retained in the case of the deposition of thin-ﬁlm composite layers onto the substrates of these and other materials. National Academy of Sciences of Belarus. Experimental data on the temperature dependence of speciﬁc magnetization (σ) for the parent composite powder (Fig. because the experimental results shown in Figs. JETP LETTERS Vol. The behavior of the σ(T) functions of ﬁlms can be fully explained by the occurrence of ferromagnetism in them. and Ni). Al. In this case.86 T. 2) or powder (Fig. superparamagnetism may be observed in the EuO:Fe composite over the temperature range 70 K < T < 480 K as a consequence of the presence of Fe particles with different sizes in this composite. cm3 Fig. In this case. In this respect. 9 2006 . 1–3 belong to magnetic ﬁelds with H = 0.86 T. the fraction of a metal (Fe) component in them is noticeably lower. It can be seen that.
Y. Makhlyarchuk JETP LETTERS Vol. we can state that the above magnetic characteristics of the ﬁlm composites fully meet the requirements imposed on their use as spin injectors in spintronic devices capable of operating at ordinary (room or higher) temperatures. p. or Ni) with transition metal contents close to the percentage of iron metal in our parent composite powder using molecular-beam epitaxy was described in a US patent by Ahn in 1972 . Rev. Translated by V. 10. However. a comparison of the rated magnetization values of these composites at room temperatures with the above data for the developed composites suggests a possible advantage for using these latter in spintronics. S. the possibility of reaching a result of this kind was reported in publications [7–9] concerning the observation of sandwich ferromagnetism in the multilayer structures of GaSb:GaMn (Tk ~ 130°C) or TiO2:Co (Tk ~ 150°C). 239 (2005)]. Ferrand. Kobeleva. The measurements were performed by the four-probe method on a standard commercial setup. 9. Co. V. 5. The synthesized ﬁlms are sufﬁciently stable.504 BORUKHOVICH et al. 91. In this case. A. 787 (1999). Young. Yan Xin. S. G. R4790 (2000). G. Nauk SSSR 402. B. Schmidt. Otd. Phys. S. J.. Teor. No. Physics of Materials and Structures of Superconducting and Semiconducting Spin Electronics (Ural. P. At room temperature. Lett. Flederling. 7864 (2003).167 (September 13. All of the above facts are consistent with well-known published data for the crystalline monoxide ﬁlms of EuO . Phys. Thus. Stampe. Lett. et al. A. interaction with the monoxide. I.. Fiz. 3. Radovanovich and D. 2. A. A. Dokl. Poverkhnost. Ohno. L. the value of Eg increased signiﬁcantly. Appl. and L. S. Pis’ma Zh. had values of ρ ~ 2 × 10–2–4 × 10–3 Ω cm. 3. G. Films of approximately the same thickness but prepared from powder exhibited the values of ρ from one to several units of Ω cm. 157202 (2003). The band gap (Eg) of the composite was evaluated from the optical absorption spectra of the ﬁlms with dif- ferent thicknesses measured with a GARY 500 photospectrometer over the wavelength range 200–3000 nm. It is evident from the above results of this work that the conclusions of Ahn  are not exactly correct. 98 (2004)]. Borukhovich. Y. B 63. and they restored their characteristics after long-term storage. Klimonskiœ. 9 2006 . S. R. the study of which is of particular interest. Ahn. Éksp. as compared with the former materials. 79. D. et al. 142 (1989). which is a real candidate for the use as the injector of spin-oriented electrons in semiconductor spin-electronic devices capable of operating under normal conditions at room temperatures. 11. and V. the rated resistivities of ﬁlms 200–500 nm in thickness. L. REFERENCES 1. V. 4. 10.75 eV. The semiconducting character of conductivity in the synthesized ﬁlms was also conﬁrmed. which were prepared from a pellet. U. et al. This is an additional support to the fact that the iron metal contents of the ﬁlms synthesized from the pellet and powder were essentially different. Akad. A. Borukhovich. R. Ross. Parker. 7. They exhibit a domain structure. Gamelin. Keim. 1977). However. Ignat’eva. N. Molenkamp. 79. 2004) [in Russian]. Nature 402.. 790 (1999).. This can be of critical importance in the practice of the development of these structures. N. due to the manifestation of supermagnetism in it) may be fully indicative of the possibly enhanced degree of spin injection from it in the case of current transfer in contact structures. A. Leningrad. it was Eg ≈ 0. Thus. 50. A. According to these data for thick (650 nm) ﬁlms with a 1% transmission spectrum. and J. Bamburov. Nature 402. However. Phys. Beschoten. K. W. Patent No. 84 No. D. 93. Akad. the use of composite ﬁlms in technical applications at such high temperatures is not allowed for. As the thickness of the ﬁlms was decreased. K. P. Previously. Kennedy. M. 5 [in Russian]. Balagurov. Nauk. which are consistent with the rated ρ of the parent composite pellet. G. 6. Rev. N. Finkel’shteœn. as well as in nanocrystalline ZnO:Ni composites (Tk ~ 60°C) .S. This is evidenced by the reverse trend (cooling) of the magnetizations σ(T).639. Phys. D. Efremova. P. the phase composition of these ﬁlms was interpreted by Ahn as the solid solution Eu1 – xMexO with the Curie temperature Tk(x) monotonically increasing from 70 to 180 K. et al. in Rare-Earth Semiconductors (Nauka. Note that the preparation of thin ﬁlms of EuO:M (M is Fe. 181 (2005) [Dokl. 1972). Reuscher. O. the reported results indicate that we succeeded in creating a thin-ﬁlm ferromagnetic semiconductor composite. 8. R. Borukhovich. 111 (2004) [JETP Lett. S. Bamburov. Samokhvalov. the enhanced speciﬁc magnetization of the composite (probably. Yekaterinburg.
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