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In Situ Characterization of the Pulsed Laser Deposition of Magnetic Thin Films

  • A. J. Paul (a1), D. W. Bonnell (a1), J. W. Hastie (a1), P. K. Schenck (a1), R. D. Shull (a1) and J. J. Ritter (a1)...

Abstract

Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD) has been proven as an effective means of depositing films from refractory targets. In our earlier work, either Nd/YAG or excimer lasers, interacting directly with target surfaces, were used to deposit thin films of high Tc superconductors, high dielectric constant BaTiO3 and ferroelectric PbZr0.53Ti0.47Os3 (PZT). Time-resolved molecular beam mass spectrometry and optical emission spectroscopic techniques have been developed to characterize the vapor plumes responsible for film formation. More recently, this work has been extended to the PLD of magnetic thin films of Ag-Fe3O4 nanocomposites using excimer (ArF*, 193 nm) laser excitation. Optical emission spectra of the excited vapor phase species, formed during the plume generation and material deposition process, indicate that physically compressed powdered metal targets have inadequate homogeneity for film production, compared to targets that are chemically produced. An in situ Laser-induced Vaporization Mass Spectrometry (LVMS) technique utilizing a Nd/YAG (1064 nm) laser has been used to determine Time-of-Arrival (TOA) profiles of the atomic, molecular, and ionic species produced in the plumes of Ag-Fe3O4 The neutral species TOA profiles indicate velocity distributions that are multimodal and not Maxwellian. These observations are in contrast to the TOA profiles observed from one-component targets (Ag or Fe3O4), where a single Maxwellian velocity distribution is found. Mossbauer effect measurements of the thin films have been made for correlation with the gas phase studies.

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