Several (111) oriented 56Fe3O4 films containing a 5-Å-thick 57Fe3O4 probe layer at or below the surface were grown epitaxially on the α-Al 2O3 (0001) surface by a reactive vapor deposition method. Conversion electron Mössbauer spectroscopy was applied at 6, 78, and 300 K by using a recently developed helium-filled proportional counter. The well-crystallized surface has been found to be surprisingly stable even in air as characterized by the Mössbauer parameters that are almost the same as for the bulk. Moreover, the Verwey transition was detected clearly even in the 5-Å-thick surface layer. However, the ferrous components seem to have changed their Mössbauer parameters probably because of their sensitivity to any crystalline field modifications in the surface. Generally speaking, the quality of epitaxial Fe3O4 films is very high: Any unusual surface state, if present, is confined in a shallow depth of ≤ 5 Å.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)