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Co-Doped ZnO Epitaxial Films: From a Brillouin-Like Paramagnet to a Phase-Separated Superparamagnetic Ensemble

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Co-doped ZnO films are epitaxially grown on sapphire by reactive magnetron sputtering. The preparation conditions such as temperature and the composition of the sputtering gas are systematically varied. For optimized growth conditions virtually all Co dopant atoms are located on substitutional Zn lattice sites as revealed by X-ray linear dichroism (XLD). The material behaves as a Brillouin-like paramagnet with S = 3/2 and L = 1 as revealed by integral and element specific magnetometry. Reducing the oxygen content during preparation leads to the onset of phase separation as revealed by X-ray diffraction, and more clearly by a strong reduction of the XLD signal. Such samples behave like a blocked superparamagnetic ensemble. In the entire range of preparation conditions no signs of intrinsic ferromagnetism are found.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-09-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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