Researchers at LLB have used polarized neutron reflectivity, X-ray diffraction, X-ray reflectivity and magneto-optical Kerr effect in polar configuration to study the properties of ultrathin Pt/Co/Pt films. Structures consisting of a 5-nm thick Pt buffer, 3-nm thick Co layer and 5-nm thick Pt cover layer were deposited onto (0001)-oriented Al2O3 substrate by the molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) method. Irreversible modifications of film properties, resulting from its illumination by single femtosecond laser pulses, of duration of 40 fs and wavelength of 800 nm, were observed and analyzed. As prepared films exhibited magnetization in-plane, but after laser irradiation, the direction of magnetization was rotated to out-of-plane state. Formation of CoPt alloy phase caused by quasi-uniform film irradiation was demonstrated by the results of X-ray and neutron scattering measurements. Moreover, polarized neutron and X-ray reflectivity data showed that after illumination Co was distributed mostly in the area of nominal Co layer and Pt cover layer and its diffusion into the Pt buffer was less significant.
W. Szuszkiewicz, F. Ott, J. Kisielewski, I. Sveklo, E. Dynowska, R. Minikayev, Z. Kurant, R. Kuna, M. Jakubowski, A. Wawro, R. Sobierajski & A. Maziewski
Polarized neutron reflectivity and X-ray scattering measurements as tools to study properties of Pt/Co/Pt ultrathin layers irradiated by femtosecond laser pulses
Phase Transitions Vol. 89 (2016) 4