Yunlong Jin, https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1946-8474
Date of this Version
Published in Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics 52 (2019), 035001
Thin films of Co2TiSi on MgO are investigated experimentally and theoretically. The films were produced by magnetron sputtering on MgO(001) and have a thickness of about 100 nm. As bulk Co2TiSi, they crystallize in the normal cubic Heusler (L21) structure, but the films are slightly distorted (c/a = 1.0014) and contain some antisite disorder. The films exhibit a robust perpendicular anisotropy of 0.5 MJ m−3. This result is surprising for several reasons. First, surface and interface anisotropies are too small to explain perpendicular anisotropy in such rather thick films. Second, Co2TiSi has a substantial magnetization and crystallizes in a cubic Heusler structure, so that conventional wisdom predicts a preferential magnetization direction in the film plane rather than perpendicular. Third, the lattice strain of 0.14% is unable to account for the perpendicular anisotropy. We explain the perpendicular anisotropy as a quasicubic symmetry breaking chemical-ordering effect promoted by the substrate.