Ion mass dependence of irradiation-induced local creation of ferromagnetism in Fe60 Al40 alloys

J. Fassbender, M. O. Liedke, T. Strache, W. Möller, E. Menéndez, J. Sort, K. V. Rao, S. C. Deevi, J. Nogués

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Ion irradiation of Fe60 Al40 alloys results in the phase transformation from the paramagnetic, chemically ordered B2 phase to the ferromagnetic, chemically disordered A2 phase. The magnetic phase transformation is related to the number of displacements per atom (dpa) during the irradiation. For heavy ions (Ar+, Kr+, and Xe+), a universal curve is observed with a steep increase in the fraction of the ferromagnetic phase that reaches saturation, i.e., a complete phase transformation, at about 0.5 dpa. This proves the purely ballistic nature of the disordering process. If light ions are used (He+ and Ne+), a pronounced deviation from the universal curve is observed. This is attributed to bulk vacancy diffusion from the dilute collision cascades, which leads to a partial recovery of the thermodynamically favored B2 phase. Comparing different noble gas ion irradiation experiments allows us to assess the corresponding counteracting contributions. In addition, the potential to create local ferromagnetic areas embedded in a paramagnetic matrix is demonstrated. © 2008 The American Physical Society.
Original languageEnglish
Article number174430
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2008


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