Exchange-spring magnets based on L10-FePt ordered phase

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Thin bi-layers constituted by a hard L10-FePt layer and a soft Fe layer were obtained using respectively an rf sputtering device and an UHV e-beam evaporation technique. Magneto-Optical Kerr Effect magnetometry, Atomic/Magnetic Force Microscopy and Conversion Electron Mössbauer Spectroscopy were used in order to correlate the magnetic properties of the bi-layers with the effects of the interdiffusion at the interfaces. It has been found that the evaporated Fe can easily diffuse into the hard film, giving raise to the formation of a region containing small particles of both Fe and Fe-rich FePt which show a superparamagnetic behaviour. The ferromagnetic Fe film can grow only on this region. The system shows (i) a preferred orientation of the easy magnetization axis along the direction normal to the film plane, and (ii) a single-phase magnetic behaviour due to the strong exchange coupling which established between the constituent phases.

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