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Structure and magnetic properties of epitaxial CaFe2O4 thin films

Abstract : CaFe 2 O 4 is a highly anisotropic antiferromagnet reported to display two spin arrangements with up-up-down-down (phase A) and up-down-up-down (phase B) configurations. The relative stability of these phases is ruled by the competing ferromagnetic and antiferromagnetic interactions between Fe 3+ spins arranged in two different environments, but a complete understanding of the magnetic structure of this material does not exist yet. In this study, we investigate epitaxial CaFe 2 O 4 thin films grown on TiO 2 (110) substrates by means of pulsed laser deposition (PLD). Structural characterization reveals the coexistence of two out-of-plane crystal orientations and the formation of three in-plane oriented domains. The magnetic properties of the films, investigated macroscopically as well as locally, including highly sensitive Mössbauer spectroscopy, reveal the presence of just one order parameter showing long-range ordering below T = 185 K and the critical nature of the transition. In addition, a non-zero in-plane magnetization is found, consistent with the presence of uncompensated spins at phase or domain boundaries, as proposed for bulk samples.
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Submitted on : Friday, November 27, 2020 - 10:49:48 AM
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Silvia Damerio, Pavan Nukala, Jean Juraszek, Pim Reith, Hans Hilgenkamp, et al.. Structure and magnetic properties of epitaxial CaFe2O4 thin films. Npj Quantum Materials, Nature publishing, 2020, 5 (1), ⟨10.1038/s41535-020-0236-2⟩. ⟨hal-02705587⟩

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