Structure and magnetic properties of NdFeB thin films with Cr, Mo, Nb, Ta, Ti, and V buffer layers

H. Jiang, M. J. O'Shea

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34 Scopus citations

Abstract

Layers of NdFeB of the form A(20 nm)/NdFeB(d nm)/A(20 nm) where A represents Cr, Mo, Nb, Ta, Ti, V were prepared on a silicon substrate by magnetron sputtering. The purpose is to determine how (i) the chosen buffer layer and (ii) NdFeB layer thickness d (especially d < 200 nm) effect the structure, morphology and magnetic properties of NdFeB films. Films are annealed for 20 min and a few selected films are subjected to a rapid thermal anneal for 30 s. Other parameters (deposition rate, NdFeB composition) were held constant and we did not attempt to optimize these. After a 20 min anneal above 500°C the main crystalline phase present is Nd2Fe14B with no preferred crystalline orientation. Our highest coercivities occur for buffer layer elements from row five of the periodic table, 20 kOe (1600 kA/m) in a Nb buffered sample with d of 180 nm and 17 kOe (1350 kA/m) in a Mo buffered sample with d of 180 nm. Buffer layers from row four (Ti, V, and Cr) and row six (Ta) all give lower coercivities. Our largest energy product, 10.3 MG-Oe (82 kJ/m3), is obtained for the Mo buffered sample. Average Nd2Fe14B crystallite size for this sample is 27 nm. Only the Cr and Ti buffered films show a large coercivity (≥ 2 kOe) for d of 54 nm with the Cr films showing the highest coercivity, 2.7 kOe (215 kA/m). In films subjected to a rapid thermal anneal (anneal time 30 s) we find that both the coercivity and energy product are larger than in samples subjected to a 20 min anneal. In our Nb buffered systems we obtain coercivities as high as 26.3 kOe (2090 kA/m) after a rapid thermal anneal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-68
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials
Volume212
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2000

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