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Perpendicular magnetic anisotropy and magnetic domain structure in sputtered epitaxial FePt (001) L10 films

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4 Author(s)
Thiele, J.U. ; IBM Almaden Research Center, 650 Harry Road, San Jose, California 95120 ; Folks, L. ; Toney, M.F. ; Weller, D.K.

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The magnetic domain structure and magnetization curves of chemically ordered epitaxial FePt (001) films with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy are discussed. Films were dc magnetron sputtered from a Fe50Pt50 alloy target onto Pt seeded MgO (001) at substrate temperatures of 550 °C. The thickness of the FePt layers was varied between 18 and 170 nm. Specular and grazing incidence x-ray diffraction measurements confirm the presence of the anisotropic, face centered tetragonal (L10) crystal structure. Long range chemical order parameters of up to 0.95 and small mosaic spread, similar to results reported for FePt (001) films grown by molecular beam epitaxy. For film thicknesses ≥50 nm in-plane and out-of-plane hysteresis measurements indicate large perpendicular magnetic anisotropies and at the same time low (about 10%) perpendicular remanence. Magnetic force microscopy reveals highly interconnected perpendicular stripe domain patterns. From their characteristic widths, which are strongly dependent on the film thickness, a value of the dipolar length D0∼50±5 nm is derived. Assuming an exchange constant of 10-6erg/cm, this value is consistent with an anisotropy constant K1∼1×108erg/cc. © 1998 American Institute of Physics.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:84 ,  Issue: 10 )