Impact of deposition rate on the structural and magnetic properties of sputtered ni/cu multilayer thin films
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The structural and corresponding magnetic properties of Ni/Cu films sputtered at low and high deposition rates were investigated as there is a limited number of related studies in this field. 5[Ni(10 nm)/Cu(30 nm)] multilayer thin films were deposited using two DC sputtering sources at low (0.02 nm/s) and high (0.10 nm/s) deposition rates of Ni layers. A face centered cubic phase was detected for both films. The surface of the film sputtered at the low deposition rate has a lot of micro-grains distributed uniformly and with sizes from 0.1 to 0.4 mu m. Also, it has a vertical acicular morphology. At high deposition rate, the number of micro-grains considerably decreased, and some of their sizes increased up to 1 mu m. The surface of the Ni/Cu multilayer deposited at the low rate has a relatively more grainy and rugged structure, whereas the surface of the film deposited at the high rate has a relatively larger lateral size of surface grains with a relatively fine morphology. Saturation magnetisation, M-s, values were 90 and 138 emu/cm(3) for deposition rates of 0.02 and 0.10 nm/s, respectively. Remanence, M-r, values were also found to be 48 and 71 emu/cm(3) for the low and high deposition rates, respectively. The coercivity, H-c, values were 46 and 65 Oe for the low and high Ni deposition rates, respectively. The changes in the film surfaces provoked the changes in the H-c values. The M-s, M-r, and H-c values of the 5[Ni(10 nm)/Cu(30 nm)] films can be adjusted considering the surface morphologies and film contents caused by the different Ni deposition rates.