Ferromagnetism in epitaxial Zn 0.95Co 0.05O films grown on ZnO and Al 2O 3

K. Nielsen, S. Bauer, M. Lübbe, S. T.B. Goennenwein, M. Opel, J. Simon, W. Mader, R. Gross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


In this article, the possible mechanisms resulting in strong ferromagnetic coupling in transition metal(TM)-doped ZnO and other diluted magnetic semiconductors (DMS) are reviewed and the prerequisites for the observation of room temperature ferromagnetism in TM-doped ZnO are defined. In order to study the ferromagnetic behavior we have grown epitaxial Zn 0.95Co 0.05O films simultaneously on (0001) ZnO and Al 2O 3 substrates by laser molecular beam epitaxy at different deposition temperatures. A systematic study of the structural and magnetic properties has been performed to reveal their interdependence. Room temperature ferromagnetism has been found in Zn 0.95Co 0.05O films grown on ZnO, whereas for films deposited on sapphire only weak ferromagnetic signals have been detected which could not unambiguously be separated from those of the substrate. The different behavior is explained by different structural properties and defect densities in both films. Our experimental findings are in good agreement with a spin split impurity band model, where strong ferromagnetic exchange in ZnO:Co 2+ is obtained by a strong hybridization between the magnetic Co 2+ ion states and the donor states due to a large density of native defects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3581-3596
Number of pages16
JournalPhysica Status Solidi (A) Applications and Materials Science
Issue number14
StatePublished - Nov 2006
Externally publishedYes


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