Improved magnetization in sputtered dysprosium thin films

Gunther Scheunert, William Hendren, Adam Lapicki, P Jesudoss, Rob Hardeman, Mark Gubbins, Robert Bowman

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50nm thick nanogranular polycrystalline dysprosium thin films have been prepared via ultra-high vacuum DC sputtering on SiO2 and Si wafers. The maximum in-plane spontaneous magnetization at T = 4K was found to be µ0MS,4K(C) = (3.28±0.26)T for samples deposited on wafers heated to 350°C with a Neel point of TN(C) = (173±2)K and a ferromagnetic transition at TC(C) = (80±2)K, measured via zero-field-cooled – field-cooled magnetization measurements, close to single-crystal values. The slightly reduced magnetization is explained in the light of a metastable face-centered cubic crystal phase which occurred at the seed interface and granularity related effects, that are still noticeably influential despite an in-plane magnetic easy axis. As deposited samples showed reduced magnetization of µ0MS,4K(A) = (2.26±0.18)T, however their ferromagnetic transition shifted to a much higher temperature of TC(A) = (172±2)K and the antiferromagnetic phase was completely suppressed probably as a result of strain.

Original languageEnglish
Article number152001
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2013


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