Study of roughness effect in Fe and Co thin films prepared by plasma magnetron sputtering

Michal Belusky, Serban Lepadatu, John Naylor, Melvin Vopson

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We report the experimental and theoretical study of a substrate roughness surface induced magnetic anisotropy in thin films of Fe and Co. The experimental results confirm previously reported data on NiFe thin films and indicate that rough substrates increase the magnetic coercive fields in magnetic thin films. This effect is most prominent in films of thickness comparable to the surface roughness values and materials of small volume magnetic anisotropy. We determined the coercive field of 15 nm Fe thin film sample deposited onto rough PVDF to be 256 Oe, which is more than doubled the value of the coercive field of 15 nm Fe films coated under identical conditions, onto smooth Si substrates. The effect is visible for Co films but weaken by its increased volume magneto-crystalline anisotropy. These results are important for applications based on magnetic thin film where the magnetic properties could be adjusted via substrate roughness engineering.
Original languageEnglish
Article number411666
Number of pages7
JournalPhysica B: Condensed Matter
Early online date29 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • Plasma sputtering
  • Thin films
  • Magnetic thin films
  • Surface roughness


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