Fourfold anisotropy and structural behavior of epitaxial hcp Co/GaAs(001) thin films

E. Gu, M. Gester, R. J. Hicken, C. Daboo, M. Tselepi, S. J. Gray, J. A C Bland, L. M. Brown, T. Thomson, P. C. Riedi

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Thin Cr-capped Co films (thickness 50150) have been grown epitaxially on GaAs(001) single-crystal substrates by molecular-beam epitaxy. In contrast to other investigations, transmission electron diffraction reveals that the epitaxial Co films have a hexagonal-close-packed (hcp) structure with the epitaxial relationships (1»21»0)[0001]Co(001)[110]GaAs and (1»21»0)[0001]Co(001)[1»10]GaAs, i.e., the c axis of each crystallite is assigned to either the in-plane [110] or the [1»10] direction of the GaAs(001) substrate. In-plane magneto-optical Kerr-effect hysteresis loops and Brillouin light-scattering measurements show that the thinnest epitaxial hcp Co film (50) has a dominant fourfold anisotropy with easy axes along the in-plane 100 directions and that a uniaxial anisotropy becomes dominant with increasing film thickness. We are able to account for the magnetic anisotropy properties of these epitaxial Co films in terms of their oriented hcp microstructure. © 1995 The American Physical Society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)14704-14708
    Number of pages4
    JournalPhysical Review B: covering condensed matter and materials physics
    Issue number20
    Publication statusPublished - 1995


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