Structural and magnetic characteristics of MnAs nanoclusters embedded in Be-doped GaAs

D. W. Rench, P. Schiffer, N. Samarth

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Abstract

We describe a systematic study of the synthesis, microstructure, and magnetization of hybrid ferromagnet-semiconductor nanomaterials comprised of MnAs nanoclusters embedded in a p-doped GaAs matrix. These samples are created during the in situ annealing of Be-doped (Ga,Mn)As heterostructures grown by molecular beam epitaxy. Transmission electron microscopy and magnetometry studies reveal two distinct classes of nanoclustered samples whose structural and magnetic properties depend on the Mn content of the initial (Ga,Mn)As layer. For Mn content in the range 5-7.5%, annealing creates a superparamagnetic material with a uniform distribution of small clusters (diameter ∼6 nm) and with a low blocking temperature (TB∼10 K). While transmission electron microscopy cannot definitively identify the composition and crystalline phase of these small clusters, our experimental data suggest that they may be comprised of either zinc-blende MnAs or Mn-rich regions of (Ga,Mn)As. At higher Mn content (8%), we find that annealing results in an inhomogeneous distribution of both small clusters as well as much larger NiAs-phase MnAs clusters (diameter ∼25 nm). These samples also exhibit supermagnetism, albeit with substantially larger magnetic moments and coercive fields, and blocking temperatures well above room temperature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number094434
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Volume84
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 21 2011

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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