Stm Observed Surface Structures and Magnetic Properties of MBE-Grown Metallic Thin Films
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Rare-earth epitaxial thin films of Tb and Gd of the thicknesses between 2 nm and 16 nm were deposited by means of molecular beam epitaxy method. The roughness of the rare-earth films measured by scanning tunneling microscopy was found to be in the range of 1-4.5 nm. The influence of the roughness on the dipolar anisotropy and magnetocrystalline surface anisotropy was estimated. The magnetic measurements have shown that the Gd layers deposited on the Y buffer layers had an easy plane anisotropy. However, for 2 nm thick Gd layer deposited on W buffer layer the perpendicular anisotropy was observed. According to the roughness analysis the possible sources of the perpendicular anisotropy in this sample is mainly the magnetoelastic anisotropy, but the presence of the magnetocrystalline surface anisotropy also cannot be neglected.
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