Publication details

Mn3Ge-based tetragonal Heusler alloy thin films with addition of Ni, Pt, and Pd



Year of publication 2020
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords Heusler alloys; perpendicular magnetic anisotropy; Mn3Ge; magnetic compensation
Description We have investigated substitution effects of Ni, Pt, and Pd on phase formation and magnetic properties of D0(22)-Mn3Ge thin films. We prepared (Mn1-xMx)(3)Ge thin films (M = Ni, Pt, Pd) at 650 degrees C by magnetron sputtering on MgO(0 0 1) substrates with x varying from 0.03 to 0.6. For improving the film quality, a Cr(0 0 1) seed layer was employed. The D0(22) structure formed only for the lowest concentrations of Ni and Pt. Nevertheless, the doped samples showed strong perpendicular magnetic anisotropy up to x = 0.1. For high Ni concentrations, we observed the formation of a soft ferromagnetic MnxNiy Ge phase with a Curie temperature of about 230 K, while in samples with high Pt content the antiferromagnet L1(0)-MnPt phase is formed along with GePt. In contrast, for Pd substitution, the D0(22) structure is preserved up to x = 0.2, exhibiting strong perpendicular magnetic anisotropy and low saturation magnetization. Interestingly, the coexistence of the D0(22)-Mn3Ge and a novel D0(22)-(Mn1-xPdx)(3)Ge phase was revealed, which might have been facilitated by the low lattice mismatch to the Cr(0 0 1) seed layer. With further increase of the Pd concentration, the D0(22) structure vanishes and mainly the GePd and GePd2 phases are present. Overall within the investigated sample series, the saturation magnetization strongly decreases with increasing dopant concentration, offering the possibility to adjust the saturation magnetization in the range between 20 and 100 emu cm(-3), while still preserving strong perpendicular magnetic anisotropy, which is important for spintronic applications.
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