Effect of Vacuum and O2 Annealing Treatments on Structural and Magnetic Properties of La0.5Ca0.5MnO3 Thin Films
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La0.5Ca0.5MnO3 films with a nominal thickness of 80 nm were epitaxially grown on (001) SrTiO3 and SrLaAlO4 substrates by the pulsed laser deposition technique. The magnetic moment of the films was observed to depend strongly on the oxygen stoichiometry, tuned by heat treatments in vacuum and O2 environments. A distinctly larger out-of-plane lattice parameter was measured for the vacuum-annealed films due to transformation of some Mn4+ ions to Mn3+. Both the variations in the magnetic moment and out-of-plane lattice parameter during vacuum annealing can be recovered by subsequent heat treatments in O2 environment. In this study, it is shown that the enhancement of the magnetic moment via O2 annealing is considerably less prominent than the respective improvement obtained by the application of compressive epitaxial strain.
KeywordsManganites Vacuum annealing O2 annealing Thin film Pulsed laser deposition
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