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Ferromagnetic nano-dot array fabricated by electron beam radiation induced nano-scale phase transition

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5 Author(s)
Zhou, T.J. ; Data Storage Institute, DSI Building, 5 Engineering Drive 1, Singapore 117608 ; Zhao, Y. ; Wang, J.P. ; Thong, J.T.L.
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We present a method of direct magnetic patterning of a nonmagnetic Co–C amorphous film by electron beam radiation induced nano-scale phase transition. Co–C alloy films with C concentration from 30 to 50 at % and thickness of 30–60 nm were prepared by alternately sputtering Co and C films onto C-buffered glass substrates. The films are amorphous and nonmagnetic with C concentration up to 40 at %. Due to their negative mixture entropy, as-deposited amorphous Co–C alloy films are metastable. Focused electron-beam irradiation causes localized phase segregation of the immiscible magnetic (Co-rich) and nonmagnetic (C-rich) phases. Ferromagnetic Co(C) nano-dot array was fabricated by subjecting the as-deposited Co60C40 films to electron beam radiation using a beam current of 16 nA, a beam energy of 20 keV and a dwell time of 5 s per dot. Magnetic force microscopy images and magnetic measurements confirm the formation of the ferromagnetic phase. The present single-step nanolithography eliminates the cumbersome traditional processes and is potentially a new and flexible alternative for fabricating patterned magnetic nanostructures for submicron magnetic devices. © 2002 American Institute of Physics.

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Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:91 ,  Issue: 10 )