Surface alloying and mixing at the Mn/Fe(001) interface: Real-time photoelectron spectroscopy and modified embedded atom simulations

P. Torelli, F. Sirotti, Pietro Ballone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Structural and magnetic properties of thin Mn films on the Fe(001) surface have been investigated by a combination of photoelectron spectroscopy and computer simulation in the temperature range 300 Kless than or equal toTless than or equal to750 K. Room-temperature as deposited Mn overlayers are found to be ferromagnetic up to 2.5-monolayer (ML) coverage, with a magnetic moment parallel to that of the iron substrate. The Mn atomic moment decreases with increasing coverage, and thicker samples (4-ML and 4.5-ML coverage) are antiferromagnetic. Photoemission measurements performed while the system temperature is rising at constant rate (dT/dtsimilar to0.5 K/s) detect the first signs of Mn-Fe interdiffusion at T=450 K, and reveal a broad temperature range (610 Kless than or equal toTless than or equal to680 K) in which the interface appears to be stable. Interdiffusion resumes at Tgreater than or equal to680 K. Molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo simulations allow us to attribute the stability plateau at 610 Kless than or equal toTless than or equal to680 K to the formation of a single-layer MnFe surface alloy with a 2x2 unit cell and a checkerboard distribution of Mn and Fe atoms. X-ray-absorption spectroscopy and analysis of the dichroic signal show that the alloy has a ferromagnetic spin structure, collinear with that of the substrate. The magnetic moments of Mn and Fe atoms in the alloy are estimated to be 0.8mu(B) and 1.1mu(B), respectively.
Original languageEnglish
Article number205413
Pages (from-to)205413-1-205413-17
Number of pages17
JournalPhysical Review B (Condensed Matter)
Volume68 (20)
Issue number20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics

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