Structural, electronic, and magnetic investigation of magnetic ordering in MBE-grown CrxSb2-xTe3 thin films

L. J. Collins-McIntyre, L. B. Duffy, A. Singh, N. -J. Steinke, C. J. Kinane, T. R. Charlton, A. Pushp, A. J. Kellock, S. S. P. Parkin, S. N. Holmes, C. H. W. Barnes, G. van der Laan, S. Langridge, T. Hesjedal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


We report the structural, electronic, and magnetic study of Cr-doped Sb2Te3 thin films grown by a two-step deposition process using molecular-beam epitaxy (MBE). The samples were investigated using a variety of complementary techniques, namely, x-ray diffraction (XRD), atomic force microscopy, SQUID magnetometry, magneto-transport, and polarized neutron reflectometry (PNR). It is found that the samples retain good crystalline order up to a doping level of x = 0.42 (in CrxSb2-xTe3), above which degradation of the crystal structure is observed by XRD. Fits to the recorded XRD spectra indicate a general reduction in the c-axis lattice parameter as a function of doping, consistent with substitutional doping with an ion of smaller ionic radius. The samples show soft ferromagnetic behavior with the easy axis of magnetization being out-of-plane. The saturation magnetization is dependent on the doping level, and reaches from ~2 μBto almost 3 μB per Cr ion. The transition temperature (Tc) depends strongly on the Cr concentration and is found to increase with doping concentration. For the highest achievable doping level for phase-pure films of x = 0.42 ,a Tc of 125 K was determined. Electric transport measurements find surface-dominated transport below ∼10 K. The magnetic properties extracted from anomalous Hall effect data are in excellent agreement with the magnetometry data. PNR studies indicate a uniform magnetization profile throughout the film, with no indication of enhanced magnetic order towards the sample surface.

Original languageEnglish
Article number27006
Number of pages7
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2016


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