Morphological and microstructural study of L1 0-ordered FePt and L1 0-FePt/Fe ultrathin films grown by UHV e-beam evaporation technique
Ultrathin films of L1 0-ordered FePt alloy with different thickness were grown by UHV e-beam evaporation technique. In this ultrathin regime, the increase of the thickness induces a strong improvement of the magnetic properties followed by a decrease of the grain size. Starting from these hard layers, FePt/Fe/FePt trilayers with different thickness of the outermost layer have been grown. The samples show a single-phase magnetic behaviour and a strong perpendicular anisotropy thanks to the exchange-coupling that established at the soft/hard interfaces. By increasing the thickness of the outer layer, a strong reduction of the switching field distribution has been obtained with the appearance of a predominant exchange-type interaction among the magnetic grains. The morphology is characterized by well separated and elongated islands, while the magnetic pattern shows finely dispersed bubble domains.