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We have studied two different types of epitaxial ferromagnetic MnAs thin films on Si (001) substrates grown by molecular beam epitaxy. When the Si substrates were annealed at a relatively high temperature (∼900 °C) and then MnAs was grown, we obtained epitaxial MnAs films with twofold crystal symmetry (type I). In contrast, when the thermal cleaning of the Si substrate was done at a lower temperature (∼600 °C), epitaxial MnAs thin films had fourfold crystal symmetry (type II). The growth plane in both types of MnAs thin films was the (1¯101) of the hexagonal MnAs. The type I MnAs films are single domain with strong magnetic anisotropy, whereas the type II MnAs films are double domain with the lack of strong magnetic anisotropy. © 1996 American Institute of Physics.