Federico Motti worked within NFFA-Trieste as University of Milan PhD student from October 2019 to December 2019.
He is currently working in the Mesoscopyc System Group at Paul Scherrer Institut, Switzerland.
His PhD project was devoted to the study of interplay between structural, dynamical and ferroelectric interfacial properties in multiferroic heterostructures. This work concerned both synthesis of multilayered systems, in the MBE Cluster Growth at the APE beamline, and characterisation with soft X-rays synchrotron light, at the APE High-Energy end station. Of particular interest on these kind of systems are in-operando measurements, in which spectroscopy signals are collected while applying external electric/magnetic fields.
In this work, we present an investigation on the effects of thermal annealing on the magnetic response of Lithium Niobate/Fe samples. Fe thin films have been deposited on Lithium Niobate Z-cut ferroelectric substrates by vapor phase epitaxy. A series of annealing treatments were performed on the samples, monitoring the evolution of their magnetic properties, both at the surface and on the volume. The combination of structural, magnetic, chemical and morphological characterizations shows that the modification of the chemical properties, i.e. the phase decomposition, of the substrate upon annealing affects drastically the magnetic behavior of the interfacial Fe layer. By tuning the annealing temperature, the magnetic coercive field value can be increased by an order of magnitude compared to the as-grown value, keeping the same in-plane isotropic behavior. Since no evident differences were recorded in the Fe layer from the chemical point of view, we attribute the origin of this effect to an intermixing process between a fragment of the substrate and the Fe thin film upon critical temperature annealing, process that is also is responsible for the observed changes in roughness and morphology of the magnetic thin film.
Rev. Sci. Instrum., 91, 085109, (2020)
An integrated ultra-high vacuum apparatus for growth and in situ characterization of complex materials
G. Vinai, F. Motti, A.Yu. Petrov, V. Polewczyk, V. Bonanni, R. Edla, B. Gobaut, J. Fujii, F. Suran, D. Benedetti, F. Salvador, A. Fondacaro, G. Rossi, G. Panaccione, B.A. Davidson and P. Torelli
Here, we present an integrated ultra-high vacuum apparatus—named MBE-Cluster —dedicated to the growth and in situ structural, spectroscopic, and magnetic characterization of complex materials. Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE) growth of metal oxides, e.g., manganites, and deposition of the patterned metallic layers can be fabricated and in situ characterized by reflection high-energy electron diffraction, low-energy electron diffraction, Auger electron spectroscopy, x-ray photoemission spectroscopy, and azimuthal longitudinal magneto-optic Kerr effect. The temperature can be controlled in the range from 5 K to 580 K, with the possibility of application of magnetic fields H up to ±7 kOe and electric fields E for voltages up to ±500 V. The MBE-Cluster operates for in-house research as well as user facility in combination with the APE beamlines at Sincrotrone-Trieste and the high harmonic generator facility for time-resolved spectroscopy.
University of Milan PhD Thesis, (2019)
Strain-mediated magneto electric coupling and beyond: case studies by in-operando spectroscopy
I explored the properties of systems that were fabricated aiming to exploit enhanced multiferroic behavior and potentially useful functionalities at room temperature. The systems of choice for this thesis were two prototypical multiferroic heterostructures composed by a ferromagnetic thin film deposited on a ferroelectric substrate: LSMO/BTO(001) and Fe,FeMn/PMN-PT(001). I focused on the magnetic response of the thin films to applied electric fields oriented perpendicular to the interface, and influencing the substrate. In both the chosen heterostructures the magnetic layers and ferroelectric substrates are all materials with high ordering temperature.
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NFFA is a Progetto Internazionale financed by MIUR through CNR
(Istituto Officina dei Materiali, Trieste) and Elettra-Sincrotrone Trieste
and managed by the Commissione NFFA chaired by Giorgio Rossi
(Università di Milano and IOM-CNR).