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Fabrication of highly spin-polarized Co2FeAl0.5Si0.5 thin-films

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Ferromagnetic Heusler Co[subscript 2]FeAl[subscript 0.5]Si[subscript 0.5] epitaxial thin-films have been fabricated in the L2[subscript 1] structure with saturation magnetizations over 1200 emu/cm[superscript 3]. Andreev reflection measurements show that the spin

Ferromagnetic Heusler Co[subscript 2]FeAl[subscript 0.5]Si[subscript 0.5] epitaxial thin-films have been fabricated in the L2[subscript 1] structure with saturation magnetizations over 1200 emu/cm[superscript 3]. Andreev reflection measurements show that the spin polarization is as high as 80% in samples sputtered on unheated MgO (100) substrates and annealed at high temperatures. However, the spin polarization is considerably smaller in samples deposited on heated substrates.

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Date Created
  • 2014-04-15

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Mechanisms responsible for microwave properties in high performance dielectric materials

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Microwave properties of low-loss commercial dielectric materials are optimized by adding transition-metal dopants or alloying agents (i.e. Ni, Co, Mn) to tune the temperature coefficient of resonant frequency (τf) to

Microwave properties of low-loss commercial dielectric materials are optimized by adding transition-metal dopants or alloying agents (i.e. Ni, Co, Mn) to tune the temperature coefficient of resonant frequency (τf) to zero. This occurs as a result of the temperature dependence of dielectric constant offsetting the thermal expansion. At cryogenic temperatures, the microwave loss in these dielectric materials is dominated by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) loss, which results from the spin-excitations of d-shell electron spins in exchange-coupled clusters. We show that the origin of the observed magnetically-induced shifts in the dielectric resonator frequency originates from the same mechanism, as described by the Kramers-Kronig relations. The temperature coefficient of resonator frequency, τf, is related to three material parameters according to the equation, τf = - (½ τε + ½ τµ + αL), where τε, τµ, and αL are the temperature coefficient of dielectric constant, magnetic permeability, and lattice constant, respectively. Each of these parameters for dielectric materials of interest are measured experimentally. These results, in combination with density functional simulations, developed a much improved understanding of the fundamental mechanisms responsible for τf. The same experimental methods have been used to characterize in-situ the physical nature and concentration of performance-degrading point defects in the dielectrics of superconducting planar microwave resonators.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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Investigation of the evolution of conduction mechanism in metal on transparent conductive oxides thin film system

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This thesis discusses the evolution of conduction mechanism in the silver (Ag) on zinc oxide (ZnO) thin film system with respect to the Ag morphology. As a plausible substitute for

This thesis discusses the evolution of conduction mechanism in the silver (Ag) on zinc oxide (ZnO) thin film system with respect to the Ag morphology. As a plausible substitute for indium tin oxide (ITO), TCO/Metal/TCO (TMT) structure has received a lot of attentions as a prospective ITO substitute due to its low resistivity and desirable transmittance. However, the detailed conduction mechanism is not fully understood. In an attempt to investigate the conduction mechanism of the ZnO/Ag/ZnO thin film system with respect to the Ag microstructure, the top ZnO layer is removed, which offers a better view of Ag morphology by using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). With 2 nm thick Ag layer, it is seen that the Ag forms discrete islands with small islands size (r), but large separation (s); also the effective resistivity of the system is extremely high. This regime is designated as dielectric zone. In this regime, thermionic emission and activated tunneling conduction mechanisms are considered. Based on simulations, when "s" was beyond 6 nm, thermionic emission dominates; with "s" less than 6 nm, activated tunneling is the dominating mechanism. As the Ag thickness increases, the individual islands coalesce and Ag clusters are formed. At certain Ag thickness, there are one or several Ag clusters that percolate the ZnO film, and the effective resistivity of the system exhibits a tremendous drop simultaneously, because the conducting electrons do not need to overcome huge ZnO barrier to transport. This is recognized as percolation zone. As the Ag thickness grows, Ag film becomes more continuous and there are no individual islands left on the surface. The effective resistivity decreases and is comparable to the characteristics of metallic materials, so this regime is categorized as metallic zone. The simulation of the Ag thin film resistivity is performed in terms of Ag thickness, and the experimental data fits the simulation well, which supports the proposed models. Hall measurement and four point probe measurement are carried out to characterize the electrical properties of the thin film system.

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Date Created
  • 2012