Combinatorial Investigation of Magnetic Materials
Aronova, Maria A
Wellstood, Fred C
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Combinatorial synthesis is an efficient tool that can be used to discover new materials. It allows one to systemically study a large number of materials simultaneously as their physical properties change with the varying chemical composition. Using this technique, we study various multifunctional electronic materials. Different designs of libraries, such as discrete libraries and composition spreads, are fabricated and characterized in order to rapidly map composition-structure-property relationships in a variety of systems. We have made gas sensor device libraries to optimize the performance of gas sensing materials. We have utilized the combinatorial pulsed laser deposition (PLD) flange for fabricating the discrete device library of doped SnO2 thin films. Several libraries were made with different amounts of dopants such as In2O3, WO3, ZnO, Pt, and Pd. After exposing the whole library to chloroform, formaldehyde, and benzene gases, the compositions most sensitive to these gases were found. We have also demonstrated the use of a gas sensor library as an electronic nose where responses from different devices are multiplexed to perform pattern recognition for distinguishing different gases at concentrations down to 12.5 ppm with high repeatability of response signals. Magnetic properties of composition spreads and discrete libraries are analyzed by a scanning SQUID microscope. The in-plane and out-of-plane magnetization distributions are calculated from the magnetic field data using the inversion technique. Various parameters that control the inversion technique are discussed in detail and optimized with the help of simulated data. By applying the inversion technique to thin-film discrete libraries, we have mapped the functional phase diagram of Ni-Mn-Ga system whose Heusler composition Ni2MnGa is a well known ferromagnetic shape memory alloys (FSMAs). A large, previously unexplored compositional region of FSMAs outside the Heusler composition is found. In search for novel multiferroic materials, we have fabricated PbTiO3 (PTO)-CoFe2O4 (CFO) composition spreads using the combinatorial PLD. After calculating the in-plane and out-of-plane remanent magnetization distributions with the help of the inversion technique, it was found that when PTO is added to CFO, CFO's magnetic anisotropy changes. Furthermore, we found that the compositional region between (PTO)0.5(CFO)0.5 and (PTO)0.8(CFO)0.2 exhibits the coexistence of ferroelectricity and ferromagnetism.