Volume E96.C (2013) Issue 12 Pages 1460-1468
CoPt and Co3Pt alloy thin films are prepared on MgO(111), SrTiO3(111), and Al2O3(0001) single-crystal substrates by varying the substrate temperature in a range from room temperature to 600°C by using an ultra-high vacuum radio-frequency magnetron sputtering system. The formation of metastable ordered phase and the structural thermal stability are briefly investigated. CoPt and Co3Pt films with the close-packed plane parallel to the substrate surface grow epitaxially on these oxide single-crystal substrates. CoPt epitaxial films are also formed by employing Pt, Pd, Cu, Cr, Ti, and Ru underlayers hetero-epitaxially grown on MgO(111) substrates. The crystal structure is evaluated by considering the order degree and the atomic stacking sequence of close-packed plane. Metastable ordered phases of L11, Bh, and D019 are preferentially formed in the CoPt and the Co3Pt films deposited around 300°C. Metastable ordered phase formation is influenced by the substrate temperature, the film composition, and the underlayer material. With increasing the substrate temperature up to around 300°C, the order degree increases. As the substrate temperature further increases, the order degree decreases. Annealing a disordered film at 300°C does not effectively enhance ordering. The CoPt and the Co3Pt films which include metastable ordered phases have flat surfaces and show strong perpendicular magnetic anisotropies reflecting the magnetocrystalline anisotropies of ordered crystals.