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Metastable tetragonal structure of Fe100-xGax epitaxial thin films on ZnSe/GaAs(001) substrate

Abstract : We investigated by x-ray diffraction the Ga concentration dependences of the structural properties of Fe100-xGax (galfenol) thin films grown on a ZnSe/GaAs(001) substrate, a material known for its high magnetostriction. By molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) we grew a series of (001)-oriented layers without in-plane misorientation, ranging from pure Fe up to x = 29.4% Ga. We find a strong Ga-induced tetragonal distortion that conserves the pristine Fe in-plane lattice parameters for all Ga compositions. Supported by theoretical predictions [R. Wu, J. Appl. Phys. 91, 7358 (2002)], we attribute this unusual tetragonal distortion to short-range ordering of Ga-Ga pairs along the [001]-growth direction. The low-temperature and out-of-equilibrium MBE growth regime tends to stabilize a strong deformed tetragonal phase (up to c/a similar to 1.05 for x similar to 29%). This tetragonal structure is fully released by postgrowth annealing.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, December 9, 2015 - 5:22:08 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, February 17, 2021 - 3:26:07 PM

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Mahmoud Eddrief, Y. Zheng, S. Hidki, B. Rache Salles, J. Milano, et al.. Metastable tetragonal structure of Fe100-xGax epitaxial thin films on ZnSe/GaAs(001) substrate. Physical Review B: Condensed Matter and Materials Physics (1998-2015), American Physical Society, 2011, 84 (16), pp.161410. ⟨10.1103/PhysRevB.84.161410⟩. ⟨hal-01240947⟩

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