We have had a new paper published in Scientific Reports: “Topography dependence of the metamagnetic phase transition in FeRh thin films”, by J L Warren, C W Barton, C Bull and T Thomson, Vol 10, Article 4030 (2020). You can view the published paper here.
The equiatomic alloy FeRh is of great scientific and technological interest due its highly unusual first-order antiferromagnetic (AF) to ferromagnetic (FM) phase transition. Here we report an exploration of the interplay between topography and phase evolution with a comprehensive magnetic force microscopy study of nominal 50 nm thick FeRh thin films and subtractively patterned wires of width 0.2 µm–2 µm. In continuous films where the surface morphology had not been optimised for smoothness, the topographical variation was observed to dominate the distribution of the magnetic transition temperatures and dictates the nucleation and growth of the magnetic phases. This observation was repeated for patterned elements, where the effects of surface morphology were more significant than those of spatial confinement. These results have clear implications for future studies of low-dimensional FeRh films, as surface topography must be considered when analysing and comparing the transition behaviour of FeRh thin films.