Diluted magnetic oxide (DMO) research is a growing field of interdisciplinary study like spintronic devices and medical imaging. A definite agreement among researchers concerning the origin of ferromagnetism in DMO has yet to be reached. This thesis presents a study on the structural and magnetic properties of DMO thin films. It attempts to contribute to the understanding of ferromagnetism (FM) origin in DMO.
Pure ZnO and Mn doped ZnO thin films have been deposited by pulsed laser deposition (PLD) using different deposition conditions. This was conducted in order to correlate the change between structural and magnetic properties. Structural properties of the films were characterized using x-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) was used to investigate the magnetic properties of these films.
The structural characterizations showed that the quality of pure ZnO and Mn doped ZnO films increased as oxygen pressure (PO) increased during deposition. All samples were insulators. In Mn doped films, Mn concentration decreased as PO increased. The Mn doped ZnO samples were deposited at 600˚C and oxygen pressure from 50-500mTorr. All Mn doped films displayed room temperature ferromagnetism (RTFM). However, at 5 K a superparamagnetic (SPM) behavior was observed in these samples. This result was accounted for by the supposition that there were secondary phase(s) causing the superparamagnetic behavior.
Our findings hope to strengthen existing research on DMO origins and suggest that secondary phases are the core components that suppress the ferromagnetism. Although RTFM and SPM at low temperature has been observed in other systems (e.g., Co doped ZnO), we are the first to report this behavior in Mn doped ZnO. Future research might extend the characterization and exploration of ferromagnetism in this system.
|Date of Award||Jul 2011|
|Original language||English (US)|
- Physical Science and Engineering
|Supervisor||Iman Roqan (Supervisor)|