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Co-metal clustering as the origin of ferromagnetism in Co-doped ZnO thin films

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5 Author(s)
Park, Jung H. ; Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and Pohang Accelerator Laboratory (PAL), Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), Pohang 790-784, Republic of Korea ; Kim, Min G. ; Jang, Hyun M. ; Ryu, Sangwoo
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The origin of ferromagnetism in ZnO-based systems was investigated using Co-doped ZnO thin films as prototypical examples of II–VI-based diluted magnetic semiconductors. In spite of the atomic-scale dissolution of Co ions in wurtzite ZnO, both the magnetization-temperature curve and the magnetization-field curve demonstrated that Zn1-xCoxO thin films were paramagnetic for x≤0.12. On the other hand, Zn1-xCoxO films with x greater than 0.12 were characterized by the Co-metal clustering and apparently showed room-temperature ferromagnetism. The discrepancy between the zero-field cooling and the field cooling curves further indicates that Co-doped ZnO films (for x≫0.12) are superparamagnetic and the observed ferromagnetism originates from the nanometer-sized Co clusters. © 2004 American Institute of Physics.

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Applied Physics Letters  (Volume:84 ,  Issue: 8 )