In-plane magnetic anisotropy and the corresponding morphology of Fe epitaxial layers have been investigated with respect to underlying MgO growth temperature when epitaxial Fe/MgO layers are grown on InAs (001) substrates. Coexistence of three-dimensional Fe islands with strong in-plane
textures along 〈110〉 and 〈100〉 is observed on 4 nm thick MgO layers grown on 200 °C, leading to the absence of magnetic anisotropy. Meanwhile, the partially relaxed MgO layers grown above 300 °C give rise to two-dimensional Fe layers with cubic magnetic anisotropy.
The higher MgO growth temperature accelerates the two-dimensional layer formation of the subsequent Fe as well as the advent of cubic anisotropy by reducing underlying strain within the MgO layer.
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