X-ray method to study temperature-dependent stripe domains in MnAs/GaAs(001)

Physics – Condensed Matter – Mesoscale and Nanoscale Physics

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4 pages, 4 figures, submitted to Applied Physics Letters

Scientific paper

10.1063/1.1844599

MnAs films grown on GaAs (001) exhibit a progressive transition between hexagonal (ferromagnetic) and orthorhombic (paramagnetic) phases at wide temperature range instead of abrupt transition during the first-order phase transition. The coexistence of two phases is favored by the anisotropic strain arising from the constraint on the MnAs films imposed by the substrate. This phase coexistence occurs in ordered arrangement alternating periodic terrace steps. We present here a method to study the surface morphology throughout this transition by means of specular and diffuse scattering of soft x-rays, tuning the photon energy at the Mn 2p resonance. The results show the long-range arrangement of the periodic stripe-like structure during the phase coexistence and its period remains constant, in agreement with previous results using other techniques.

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