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Co-sputtered PtMnSb thin films and PtMnSb/Pt bilayers for spin-orbit torque investigations

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Krieft J., Mendil J., Aguirre M. H., Avci C. O., Klewe C., Rott K., Schmalhorst J. M., Reiss G., Gambardella P., Kuschel T.,
Project Spin-orbitronics in ferromagnets and antiferromagnets
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Physica Status Solidi-Rapid Research Letters
Volume (Issue) 11(4)
Page(s) 1600439 - 1600439
ISBN 1862-6254
Title of proceedings Physica Status Solidi-Rapid Research Letters
DOI 10.1002/pssr.201600439

Open Access

Type of Open Access Repository (Green Open Access)


The manipulation of the magnetization by spin-orbit torques (SOTs) has recently been extensively studied due to its potential for efficiently writing information in magnetic memories. Particular attention is paid to non-centrosymmetric systems with space inversion asymmetry, where SOTs emerge even in single-layer materials. The half-metallic half-Heusler PtMnSb is an interesting candidate for studies of this intrinsic SOT. Here, we report on the growth and epitaxial properties of PtMnSb thin films and PtMnSb/Pt bilayers deposited on MgO(001) substrates by dc magnetron co-sputtering at high temperature in ultra-high vacuum. The film properties were investigated by X-ray diffraction, X-ray reflectivity, atomic force microscopy, and electron microscopy. Thin PtMnSb films present a monocrystalline C1b phase with (001) orientation, coexisting at increasing thickness with a polycrystalline phase with (111) texture. Films thinner than about 5 nm grow in islands, whereas thicker films grow ultimately layer-by-layer, forming a perfect MgO/PtMnSb interface. The thin PtMnSb/Pt bilayers also show island growth and a defective transition zone, while thicker films grow layer-by-layer and Pt grows epitaxially on the half-Heusler compound without significant interdiffusion. (C) 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim