Microstructure and random magnetic anisotropy in Fe-Ni based nanocrystalline thin films

Senoy Thomas, S. H. Al-Harthi, D. Sakthikumar, I. A. Al-Omari, R. V. Ramanujan, Yasuhiko Yoshida, M. R. Anantharaman

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44 Citations (Scopus)


Nanocrystalline Fe-Ni thin films were prepared by partial crystallization of vapour deposited amorphous precursors. The microstructure was controlled by annealing the films at different temperatures. X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy and energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy investigations showed that the nanocrystalline phase was that of Fe-Ni. Grain growth was observed with an increase in the annealing temperature. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy observations showed the presence of a native oxide layer on the surface of the films. Scanning tunnelling microscopy investigations support the biphasic nature of the nanocrystalline microstructure that consists of a crystalline phase along with an amorphous phase. Magnetic studies using a vibrating sample magnetometer show that coercivity has a strong dependence on grain size. This is attributed to the random magnetic anisotropy characteristic of the system. The observed coercivity dependence on the grain size is explained using a modified random anisotropy model.

Original languageEnglish
Article number155009
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - Aug 7 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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