A comprehensive study on growth of ferrimagnetic manganese zinc ferrite (Mn0.5Zn0.5Fe2O4) films on single crystalline strontium titanate(001) (SrTiO3) substrates was carried out. Under the optimized conditions, a thin film with a layer thickness of 200 nm was deposited, and the structural properties were investigated. Contrary to data published in literature, no buffer layer was necessary to achieve epitaxial growth of a poorly lattice-matched layer. This was confirmed for Mn0.5Zn0.5Fe2O4(001) on SrTiO3(001) by x-ray diffraction and the adjoined phi scans, which also revealed a lattice compression of 1.2% of the manganese zinc ferrite film in the out-of-plane direction. Using x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, the near surface stoichiometry of the film could be shown to agree with the intended one within the uncertainty of the method. X-ray absorption spectroscopy showed an electronic structure close to that published for bulk samples. Additional x-ray magnetic circular dichroism investigations were performed to answer detailed structural questions by a comparison of experimental data with the calculated ones. The calculations took into account ion sites (tetrahedral vs. octahedral coordination) as well as the charge of Fe ions (Fe2+ vs. Fe3+). Contrary to the expectation for a perfect normal spinel that only Fe3+ ions are present in octahedral sites, hints regarding the presence of additional Fe2+ in octahedral sites as well as Fe3+ ions in tetrahedral sites have been obtained. Altogether, the layer could be shown to be mostly in a normal spinel configuration.

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