The competition between magnetocrystalline and shape anisotropy on the magnetic and magneto-transport properties of crystallographically aligned CuCr2Se4 thin films

Edelman, I.; Esters, M.; Johnson, D. C.; Yurkin, G.; Tarasov, A.; Rautsky, M.; Volochaev, M.; Lyashchenko, S.; Ivantsov, R.; Petrov, D.; Solovyov, L. A. JOURNAL OF MAGNETISM AND MAGNETIC MATERIALS, 443 107-115; 10.1016/j.jmmm.2017.07.022 DEC 1 2017

Crystallographically aligned nanocrystalline films of the ferromagnetic spinel CuCr2Se4 were successfully synthesized and their structure and alignment were confirmed by X-ray diffraction and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. The average size of the crystallites is about 200–250 nm, and their (1 1 1) crystal planes are parallel to the film plane. A good match of the film’s electronic structure to that of bulk CuCr2Se4 is confirmed by transverse Kerr effect measurements. Four easy 〈1 1 1〉 axes are present in the films. One of these axes is oriented perpendicular and three others are oriented at an angle of 19.5° relative to the film plane. The magnetic properties of the films are determined by a competition between the out-of-plane magnetocrystalline anisotropy and the in-plane shape anisotropy. Magnetic measurements show that the dominating type of anisotropy switches from shape to magnetocrystalline anisotropy near 160 K, which leads to a switch of the effective easy axis from inside the film plane at room temperature to perpendicular to the film plane as the temperature decreases. At last, a moderately large, negative value of the low-temperature magnetoresistance was observed for the first time in CuCr2Se4 films.