PNR study of the phase transition in FeRh thin films

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • External authors:
  • Charlotte Bull
  • Christopher Barton
  • William Griggs
  • Andrew J Caruana
  • C.J. Kinane


The first order antiferromagnetic to ferromagnetic meta-magnetic phase transition of equiatomic FeRh offers new opportunities for novel antiferromagnetic memories and spintronic devices with the caveat that it can be utilised in thin film structures (< 50 nm). Here, we report a polarized neutron reflectivity (PNR) study for three representative film thicknesses (5, 20 and 50 nm) aimed at determining the physical and magnetic structure of FeRh at room temperature and part way through the transition. The PNR results are analyzed with reference to X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray reflectivity (XRR) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) data which together provide a consistent description of the magnetic and physical state of the FeRh thin films. The data demonstrate that the nucleation of the ferromagnetic phase initiates at the MgO substrate, and results from structural and magnetic measurements demonstrate that the magnetic behavior and strain properties of FeRh correlate to the evolving topography of the three films investigated.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalAPL Materials
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 27 Sep 2019