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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Large moments in bcc FexCoyMnz ternary alloy thin films

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The elemental magnetic moments and the average atomic moment of 10-20 nm thick single crystal bcc (bct) FexCoyMnz films deposited on MgO(001) have been determined as a function of a broad range of compositions. Thin film epitaxy stabilized the bcc structure for 80% of the available ternary compositional space compared to only a 23% stability region for the bulk. The films that display ferromagnetism represent 60% of the available compositional possibilities compared to 25% for the bulk. A maximum average atomic moment of 3.25 ± 0.3 μB/atom was observed for a bcc Fe9Co62Mn29 film (well above the limit of the Slater-Pauling binary alloy curve of 2.45 μB/atom). The FexCoyMnz ternary alloys that exhibit high moments can only be synthesized as ultrathin films since the bcc structure is not stable in the bulk for those compositions.

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