Characterization and control of aluminum oxide thin films formed on surfaces of FeCo-V alloys

Motohiro Kasuya, Susumu Imashuku, Kazuaki Wagatsuma, Kiyoshi Urakawa, Takenobu Sato, Takashi Ebata, Shigeru Suzuki

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4 Citations (Scopus)


X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), ellipsometry, and cathode luminescence were utilized for characterizing oxide films formed on the surfaces of FeCo-V alloys (Permendur) that contained small amounts of aluminum via annealing under a low partial pressure of oxygen. XPS spectra showed that the oxide films were composed primarily of aluminum oxide, which was a result of preferential oxidation of aluminum on the surfaces of the alloys during annealing. The thicknesses of the oxide films were estimated from XPS depth profiles coupled with the sput-tering rate of a SO2/Si film, and the thicknesses were compared with those of the oxide films measured via non-destructive ellip-sometry. The thicknesses obtained from the depth profiles may have been overestimated because of a difference in sputtering rate between silicon oxide and aluminum oxide. As measured via ellipsometry, the thickness of the aluminum oxide thin film, which was less than 100 nm, increases with the aluminum content in the alloys. Wide XPS spectra from the sample surfaces with different roughness suggested that the aluminum oxide thin films were homogenously formed on the smooth surfaces, whereas metallic elements in the alloy substrates were detected on the rough surfaces. Furthermore, the electrical resistivity of the alloys with the smooth surfaces increases significantly with the aluminum content, which may be attributable to the for-mation of the aluminum oxide thin film. These results indicate that the addition of a small amount of aluminum and surface smoothness are important for controlling formation of the aluminum oxide thin films with high resistivity in FeCo-V alloys by annealing under a low partial pressure of oxygen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-280
Number of pages6
Journale-Journal of Surface Science and Nanotechnology
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Aluminum oxide
  • Electrical resistivity
  • FeCo alloy
  • Preferential oxidation


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