Substrate Induced Strain Field in FeRh Epilayers Grown on Single Crystal MgO (001) Substrates

Craig Barton, T. Ostler, David Huskisson, C.J. Kinane, Sarah Haigh, G Hrkac, Thomas Thomson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Equi-atomic FeRh is highly unusual in that it undergoes a first order meta-magnetic phase transition from an antiferromagnet to a ferromagnet above room temperature (Tr ≈ 370 K). This behavior opens new possibilities for creating multifunctional magnetic and spintronic devices which can utilise both thermal and applied field energy to change state and functionalise composites. A key requirement in realising multifunctional devices is the need to understand and control the properties of FeRh in the extreme thin film limit (tFeRh < 10 nm) where interfaces are crucial. Here we determine the properties of FeRh films in the thickness range 2.5–10 nm grown directly on MgO substrates. Our magnetometry and structural measurements show that a perpendicular strain field exists in these thin films which results in an increase in the phase transition temperature as thickness is reduced. Modelling using a spin dynamics approach supports the experimental observations demonstrating the critical role of the atomic layers close to the MgO interface.
Original languageEnglish
Article number44397
JournalScientific Reports
Early online date12 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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