Origin of room temperature ferromagnetic moment in Rh-rich [Rh/Fe] multilayer thin films
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B2 ordered FeRh thin films switch from antiferromagnetic(AFM) to ferromagnetic(FM) state on heating above 350 K and switch back on cooling, with a hysteresis. This property makes FeRh a very attractive choice as a write-assist layer material for low temperature heat assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) media. Studies have shown that as we decrease the thickness of the FeRh films, the B2 phase is no longer AFM even below 350 K and there is a thickness dependant FM stabilization of the B2 phase. It was also proved that slightly Rh-richer compositions (>50 at. % Rh) were more preferable to stabilize the AFM phase. The current study focuses on growing highly ordered FeRh films by alternate layer rf sputtering of thin layers of iron and rhodium onto a heated substrate. It has been shown that films with rhodium content beyond 55 at. % contain a disordered bcc FM phase which gives rise to residual moment at room temperature even for thicker films.