Kotov, V.A.; Nur-E-Alam, M.; Vasiliev, M.; Alameh, K.; Balabanov, D.E.; Burkov, V.I. Enhanced Magneto-Optic Properties in Sputtered Bi- Containing Ferrite Garnet Thin Films Fabricated Using Oxygen Plasma Treatment and Metal Oxide Protective Layers. Materials2020, 13, 5113.
Kotov, V.A.; Nur-E-Alam, M.; Vasiliev, M.; Alameh, K.; Balabanov, D.E.; Burkov, V.I. Enhanced Magneto-Optic Properties in Sputtered Bi- Containing Ferrite Garnet Thin Films Fabricated Using Oxygen Plasma Treatment and Metal Oxide Protective Layers. Materials 2020, 13, 5113.
Magneto-optic (MO) imaging and sensing are at present the most developed practical applications of thin-film MO garnet materials. However, future component and system-level sensors and imagers technology improvements are still necessary in order to improve sensitivity for a range of established and also the forward-looking applications. These improvements are expected to originate from new material system development. We propose a set of technological modifications for the RF-magnetron sputtering deposition and crystallization annealing of magneto-optic bismuth-substituted iron-garnet films and investigate the improved material properties. Results show that standard crystallization annealing for the as-deposited ultrathin (sputtered 10 nm thick, amorphous phase) films resulted in more than a factor of two loss in the magneto-optical activity of the films in visible spectral region, compared to the liquid-phase grown epitaxial films. Results also show that an additional 10 nm-thick metal-oxide (Bi2O3) protective layer above the amorphous film results in ~2.7 times increase in the magneto-optical quality of crystallized iron-garnet films. On the other hand, the effects of post-deposition oxygen (O2) plasma treatment on the magneto-optical (MO) properties of Bismuth substituted iron garnet thin films material is investigated. Results show that, in the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum (at 532 nm), the O2 treated (up to 3 minutes) garnet films retain higher specific Faraday rotation and figure of merit than those of non-treated garnet films.
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