MBE-growth of iron and iron oxide thin films on MgO(100), using NO2, NO, and N2O as oxidizing agents

F. C. Voogt, T. Hibma, P. J.M. Smulders, L. Niesen, T. Fujii

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


We have made a study of the use of NO2 as the source of oxygen in the MBE-growth of iron oxides thin films. It is found that NO2 is a much more efficient oxidizing agent than molecular O2. As indicated by Moessbauer spectroscopy, performed on 57Fe probe layers, NO2 is not only capable of forming stoichiometric magnetite Fe3O4, but also all non-stoichiometric Fe3-δO4 phases. Even the metastable maghemite phase γ-Fe2O3 (Fe3-δO4 with δ = 1/3) can be formed. All iron oxides grow layer-by-layer-like, as indicated by strong RHEED intensity oscillations. When small doses of NO2 are used, new wustite Fe1-xO and Fe3O4 phases are formed. In contrast to the Fe3-δO4 films, these phases have nitrogen incorporated into the crystal lattice. Similar compounds are obtained when NO is used as the source of oxygen. The use of N2O does not lead to the formation of iron oxides. It does, however, alter the growth mode of Fe on MgO(100). Whereas Fe deposited under UHV conditions forms 3D islands, the N2O acts as a surfactant and induces 2D layer-by-layer growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-216
Number of pages6
JournalMaterials Research Society Symposium - Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1997
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the 1997 MRS Spring Meeting - San Francisco, CA, USA
Duration: Mar 31 1997 → …

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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