Quantitative TEM imaging of the magnetostructural and phase transitions in FeRh thin film systems

Almeida, T. P. , Temple, R., Massey, J., Fallon, K., McGrouther, D. , Moore, T., Marrows, C. H. and McVitie, S. (2017) Quantitative TEM imaging of the magnetostructural and phase transitions in FeRh thin film systems. Scientific Reports, 7, 17835. (doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-18194-0) (PMID:29259255) (PMCID:PMC5736605)

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Equi-atomic FeRh is a very interesting material as it undergoes a magnetostructural transition from an antiferromagnetic (AF) to a ferromagnetic (FM) phase between 75–105 °C. Its ability to present phase co-existence separated by domain walls (DWs) above room temperature provides immense potential for exploitation of their DW motion in spintronic devices. To be able to effectively control the DWs associated with AF/FM coexistence in FeRh thin films we must fully understand the magnetostructural transition and thermomagnetic behaviour of DWs at a localised scale. Here we present a transmission electron microscopy investigation of the transition in planar FeRh thin-film samples by combining differential phase contrast (DPC) magnetic imaging with in situ heating. We perform quantitative measurements from individual DWs as a function of temperature, showing that FeRh on NiAl exhibits thermomagnetic behaviour consistent with the transition from AF to FM. DPC imaging of an FeRh sample with HF-etched substrate reveals a state of AF/FM co-existence and shows the transition from AF to FM regions proceeds via nucleation of small vortex structures, which then grow by combining with newly nucleated vortex states into larger complex magnetic domains, until it is in a fully-FM state.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McGrouther, Dr Damien and McVitie, Professor Stephen and Fallon, Dr Kayla and Almeida, Dr Trevor
Authors: Almeida, T. P., Temple, R., Massey, J., Fallon, K., McGrouther, D., Moore, T., Marrows, C. H., and McVitie, S.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Scientific Reports
Publisher:Nature Research
ISSN (Online):2045-2322
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The Authors
First Published:First published in Scientific Reports 7(1):17835
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
680211Current-driven domain wall motion and magnetomemristance in FeRh-based nanostructuresStephen McVitieEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/M019020/1S&E P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY