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Ultrathin Interfacial Layer with Suppressed Room Temperature Magnetization in Magnesium Aluminum Ferrite Thin Films

Published

Author(s)

Jacob J. Wisser, Satoru Emori, Lauren Riddiford, Aaron Altman, Peng Li, Krishnamurthy Mahalingam, Brittany T. Urwin, Brandon M. Howe, Michael R. Page, Alexander J Grutter, Brian J Kirby, Yuri Suzuki

Abstract

Low-damping magnetic oxide thin films with small thicknesses are essential for efficient insulator spintronic devices, particularly those driven by spin torques effects. Here, we investigate depth-resolved compositional and magnetic properties of epitaxial spinel MgAl0.5Fe1.5O4 (MAFO), which has recently been reported as a promising low-damping insulator. We find that {approximately equal}11 nm films give optimal Gilbert damping, with a typical damping parameter of 0.001. While defects due to strain relaxation in the film bulk contribute to increased damping for large thicknesses, damping increase in thinner films is attributed to the presence of a chemically disordered magnetic dead layer at the film/substrate interface. This interfacial dead layer arises from a Fe deficient MAFO layer whose magnetic transition temperature is suppressed below room temperature. Notably, this layer is only about one-sixth the thickness of that found at the interface between yttrium iron garnet films and gadolinium gallium garnet substrates, making MAFO an ideal thin-film insulator for spin-torque applications.
Citation
Applied Physics Letters
Volume
115
Issue
13

Keywords

Spin pumping, spinel, magnetic damping, neutron reflectometry, magnetism, thin film

Citation

, J. , Emori, S. , Riddiford, L. , Altman, A. , Li, P. , Mahalingam, K. , , B. , , B. , , M. , , A. , , B. and Suzuki, Y. (2019), Ultrathin Interfacial Layer with Suppressed Room Temperature Magnetization in Magnesium Aluminum Ferrite Thin Films, Applied Physics Letters, [online], https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=928218 (Accessed August 1, 2021)
Created September 23, 2019, Updated September 12, 2020