Influence of co:cu ratio on properties of co-cu films deposited at different conditions
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A series of Co-Cu films with different Co:Cu ratio was electrodeposited at different electrolyte pH, deposition potential and film thickness, and their morphology, crystal structure and magnetic properties were investigated. Compositional analysis by energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy disclosed that the Co and Cu content were 75 and 25 wt%, respectively, at high pH (3.2) level, while for films at low pH (2.5) level the compositions are 61 Co and 39 wt% Cu, and further decrease of Co:Cu ratio occurred as the film thicknesses increased. The surface morphology of the films changed from an initial dendritic stage to expanded dendrites with increasing Cu content by the electrolyte pH. The dendrites became more obvious at 3 mu m and the dendritic structures increased with further increase of film thickness as the Co:Cu ratio decreased. Hence, the increase of the Cu content is thought to be the cause of the increase of dentritic structure. Structural characterizations by x-ray diffraction (XRD) showed that all films have face-centered cubic structure. In the XRD patterns, the peak intensity of Co (111) is lower for the films grown at low pH compared to that of high pH, and the (111) peaks of Co and Cu slightly separated at 3 mu m and then the intensity of the Cu (111) increased with increasing film thickness from 4 to 5 mu m, so that the Co:Cu ratio changed at all deposition parameters. Magnetic measurements displayed that the saturation magnetization decreased and the coercivity increased as the Co:Cu ratio decreased with all deposition parameters. Also, the magnetic easy axis was found to be in the film plane for all films. It was seen that the variations in the properties of the films might be attributed to the change of Co:Cu ratio caused by the deposition parameters.