Ultrathin films of Fe3O4 have been grown epitaxially on nearly lattice matched MgO(001). The stability of 4 nm thick films in ambient air and under annealing in an oxygen atmosphere at 200 °C has been studied. By magneto optical and Raman measurements, we can confirm the presence of the Fe3O4 phase and the formation of a maghemite top layer passivating the Fe3O4 thin film. In a second step, we are able to demonstrate that this top layer oxidation in ambient air can be prevented by a 2 nm thick magnesium ferrite passivation layer, while a thicker 20 nm MgO layer prevents oxidation even at elevated temperatures.

You do not currently have access to this content.