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Structural properties of the quaternary Heusler alloy Co2Cr1-xFexAl

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Wurmehl, S., Alves, M. C. M., Morais, J., Ksenofontov, V., Teixeira, S. R., Machado, G., et al. (2007). Structural properties of the quaternary Heusler alloy Co2Cr1-xFexAl. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 40(6), 1524-1533. doi:10.1088/0022-3727/40/6/S02.

The quarternary substitutional series Co2Cr1-xFex Al was investigated by means of surface and bulk sensitive techniques in order to exploit its structural and compositional properties. Both bulk and powder samples of the alloy series were investigated to obtain specific information about this material. The long range order was determined by means of x-ray diffraction and neutron diffraction, while the site specific ( short range) order was proved by extended x-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy. The magnetic structure was investigated by Mossbauer spectroscopy in transmission and scattering modes in order to compare and separate powder and bulk properties. The chemical composition was analysed by means of x-ray photo emission spectroscopy combined with Auger electron spectroscopy depth profiling. The results from these methods are compared to get an insight into the differences between surface and bulk properties and the appearance of disorder in such alloys. The material shows an extremely high sensitivity to oxygen. In particular, powder materials show a high amount of oxygen contamination. Therefore, an additional oxide-mediated tunnel magneto-resistance may always contribute to measurements of magneto-resistive effects because the oxide layers will provide natural tunnelling barriers. In addition, the results suggest that thin films have to be produced under ultra-high vacuum conditions.