Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and reflection high-energy electron diffraction (RHEED) were used to study the epitaxial growth of Cr on Fe(001) whiskers as a function of the Fe whisker temperature during growth. The STM images give real space views of the morphology of Cr growth, which can be correlated with the nature of the RHEED intensity oscillations. Layer by layer growth is found for Cr deposition on an Fe(001) surface at 300°C, and very rough growth, limited by diffusion kinetics, is observed at lower temperatures. The variation in the interlayer exchange coupling in Fe/Cr/Fe sandwiches as a function of the thickness of the Cr interlayer, which has been found to depend strongly on the growth temperature of the Cr interlayer, can be explained by the thickness fluctuations determined from the STM measurements of Cr films gown at different temperatures.
Citation: Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology B
Pub Type: Journals