Synthesis of bulk crystals and thin films of the ferromagnetic MnSb
High-temperature ferromagnets are widely used on a practical level. Based on them, magnetic memory for computers and various types of magnetic field sensors are created. Therefore, bulk ingots and thin-film samples of ferromagnet manganese antimonide (MnSb) with a high Curie point are of great interest, both from the practical and fundamental sides. Manganese antimonide films are obtained in hybrid structures using molecular-beam epitaxy. The thickness of the films does not exceed tens of nanometers. Despite their high sensitivity to magnetic fields, their small thickness prevents them from being used as magnetic field sensors. The aim of this work was to synthesise thick bulk ingots of manganese antimonide crystals
and films with a thickness of ~ 400 nm on sitall and silicon substrates. MnSb crystals were synthesised using the vacuum-ampoule method and identified using XRD, DTA, and microstructural analysis. The results of studies of bulk samples indicated the presence of an insignificant amount of antimony in addition
to the MnSb phase. According to the DTA thermogram of the MnSb alloy, a small endothermic effect was observed at 572 °C, which corresponds to the melting of the eutectic on the part of antimony in the Mn-Sb system. Such composition, according to previous studies, guaranteed the production of manganese antimonide with the maximum Curie temperature. A study of the magnetic properties showed that the synthesised MnSb crystals were a soft ferromagnet with the Curie point ~ 587 K. Thin MnSb films were obtained by an original method using separate sequential deposition in a high vacuum of the Mn
and Sb metals with their subsequent annealing. To optimise the process of obtaining films with stoichiometric composition, the dependences of the thickness of metal films on the parameters of the deposition process were calculated. The temperature range of annealing at which the metals interact with the formation of ferromagnetic MnSb films was established, the films were identified, and their electrical and magnetic properties were measured
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