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Sintering Effect of Annealed FePt Nanocrystal Films Observed by Magnetic Force Microscopy

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5 Author(s)
C. Hyun ; Dept. of Phys., Texas Univ., Austin, TX ; D. C. Lee ; C. Israel ; B. A. Korgel
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Chemically synthesized FePt nanocrystals can exhibit room temperature ferromagnetism after being annealed at temperatures above 500degC. In thick films composed of FePt nanocrystals, the coercivity can be quite large. However, the coercivity of thin films has been found to decrease significantly with decreasing thickness, to the point that ferromagnetism at room temperature is lost. We studied 12 to 55 nm thick films by using magnetic force microscopy (MFM) under external applied fields. We made smooth films by spin casting 4-nm-diameter FePt nanocrystals and annealing them at 605degC-630degC. Thin FePt films showed lower coercivity than thick films. To help interpret the MFM images, we obtained complementary magnetic and structural data by superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) magnetometry, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and X-ray diffraction. We conclude that the magnetic properties of these films are strongly affected by nanocrystal aggregation that occurs during annealing

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IEEE Transactions on Magnetics  (Volume:42 ,  Issue: 12 )