Growth and properties of Cu[sub 3]N films and Cu[sub 3]N/γ[sup ′]-Fe[sub 4]N bilayers

Borsa, D. M.; Grachev, S.; Presura, C.; Boerma, D. O.
March 2002
Applied Physics Letters;3/11/2002, Vol. 80 Issue 10, p1823
Academic Journal
Copper nitride films were grown by molecular-beam epitaxy of copper in the presence of nitrogen from a radio-frequency atomic source on (001) γ[sup ′]-Fe[sub 4]N/(001)MgO or directly on MgO substrates. The structural properties of the Cu[sub 3]N films were found to be very dependent on the substrate and on the deposition temperature. At optimal growth conditions, the Cu[sub 3]N films grow epitaxial on both substrates. The Cu[sub 3]N films grown on MgO were characterized optically to be insulators with an energy gap of 1.65 eV. On γ[sup ′]-Fe[sub 4]N, Cu[sub 3]N films with a thickness of only 6 nm, were grown as closed layers, epitaxial and rather smooth (root-mean-square roughness of 0.7 nm). This material has ideal properties to be used as a barrier in low resistance magnetic tunnel junctions. © 2002 American Institute of Physics.


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