Physical properties in thin films of iron oxides

J. D. Uribe, J. Osorio, C. A. Barrero, D. Giratá, A. L. Morales, A. Hoffmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have grown hematite (α-Fe2O3) thin films on stainless steel substrates and magnetite (Fe3O4) thin films on (0 0 1)-Si single crystal substrates by a RF magnetron sputtering process. α-Fe2O3 thin films were grown in an Ar atmosphere at substrate temperatures around 400 {ring operator} C, and Fe3O4 thin films in an Ar/O2 reactive atmosphere at substrate temperatures around 500 {ring operator} C. Conversion electron Mössbauer (CEM) spectra of α-Fe2O3 thin films exhibit values for hyperfine parameter characteristic of the hematite stoichiometric phase in the weak ferromagnetic state [R.E. Vandenberghe, in: Mössbauer Spectroscopy and Applications in Geology, University Gent, Belgium, 1990. [1]]. Furthermore, the relative line intensity ratio suggests that the magnetization vector of the polycrystalline film is aligned preferentially parallel to the surface. The CEM spectra of Fe3O4 thin films show the presence of only the stoichiometric phase, and the values for the hyperfine fields and isomer shifts of the A and B sites are consistent with bulk Fe3O4 [1]. The X-ray diffraction (XRD) pattern of the polycrystalline thin films also corresponds to α-Fe2O3 and Fe3O4 [JCPDS, X-ray diffraction data cards, 2001. [2]]. The samples were also analyzed by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and they reveal a grain morphology common for polycrystalline films. We found an average grain size of 211 nm and surface roughness of 45 nm in α-Fe2O3 films and an average grain size of 148 nm and surface roughness of 1.2 nm in Fe3O4 films.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1391-1393
Number of pages3
JournalMicroelectronics Journal
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Iron oxides
  • Magnetization curves
  • Mössbauer effect
  • Thin films

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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