Natural Oxidation of thin Fe Films on V Buffer Layer
H. Dawczak-Dębickia,b, A. Marczyńska a, A. Rogowskaa,c, M. Wachowiaka,c, M. Nowicki c, S. Pacanowski a, B. Jabłońskia,c, W. Kowalski a, J. Grembowski a, R. Czajka c and L. Smardza
aInstitute of Molecular Physics, Polish Academy of Sciences, M. Smoluchowskiego 17, 60-179 Poznań, Poland
bFaculty of Physics, Adam Mickiewicz University, Umultowska 85, 61-614 Poznań, Poland
cFaculty of Technical Physics, Poznań University of Technology, Piotrowo 3, 60-965 Poznań, Poland
Received: October 24, 2016; In final form: September 6, 2017
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We have studied oxidation kinetics of Fe thin film under atmospheric conditions using the fact that metallic iron is a ferromagnet but ultrathin natural iron oxides are approximately nonmagnetic at room temperature. As a consequence, oxidation is associated with a loss in total Fe magnetic moment. Results show that the sample with an initial Fe thickness equal to 10 nm oxidize relatively fast (time constant τ=0.05 day), whereby a constant amount of 2.5 nm of metal is transformed into oxides. For lower iron initial thickness (di=4 nm) the time constant for oxidation significantly increases reaching a value of 2 days. Furthermore, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy studies performed after 144 days of oxidation revealed formation of hematite (α-Fe2O3) thin film on the metallic rest of iron.

DOI: 10.12693/APhysPolA.132.1272
PACS numbers: 75.70.-i, 68.55.-a