• Smekhova, A.; Szyjka, T.; La Torre, E.; Ollefs, K.; Eggert, B.; Coester, B.; Wilhelm, F.; Bali, R.; Lindner, J.; Rogalev, A.; Többens, D.; Weschke, E.; Luo, C.; Chen, K.; Radu, F.; Schmitz-Antoniak, C.; Wende, H.: Irradiation-induced enhancement of Fe and Al magnetic polarizations in Fe60Al40 films. New Journal of Physics 24 (2024), p. 023036/1-15

Open Access Version

The rise of Fe magnetic moment, changes in Al electronic structure and a variation of Al magnetic polarization in thin films of transition metal aluminide Fe60Al40 have been probed through the order-disorder phase transition by soft x-ray absorption spectroscopy and x-ray resonant magnetic reflectivity in the extreme ultraviolet regime. In a course of the transition induced by 20 keV Ne+ irradiation with low fluences (∼1014 ions cm−2), x-ray magnetic circular dichroism spectra taken at the Fe L2,3 absorption edges at room and low temperatures revealed a pronounced increase of Fe 3d states spin-polarization. X-ray resonant magnetic reflectivity applied to the Al L2,3 and Fe M2,3 edges allowed to detect the magnetic polarization of Al atoms in the films. The changes in Al electronic structure have been seen by alteration of Al K edge x-ray absorption near edge structure. A difference in anisotropy fields for films before and after irradiation has been observed by element-specific hysteresis loops recorded at low temperatures in absorption and reflection geometries at the Fe L2,3 and M2,3 edges, respectively. An attempt to reduce the top oxide layer by an inductively coupled hydrogen plasma has shown a possibility to recover the chemically ordered phase.