Large magneto-optic enhancement in ultra-thin liquid-phase-epitaxy iron garnet films

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© 2015 AIP Publishing LLC. Significant departures from bulk-like magneto-optic behavior are found in ultra-thin bismuth-substituted iron-garnet films grown by liquid-phase-epitaxy. These changes are due, at least in part, to geometrical factors and not to departures from bulk-composition in the transient layer at the film-substrate interface. A monotonic increase in specific Faraday rotation with reduced thickness is the signature feature of the observed phenomena. These are traced to size-dependent modifications in the diamagnetic transition processes responsible for the Faraday rotation. These processes correspond to the electronic transitions from singlet 6S ground states to spin-orbit split excited states of the Fe3+ ions in the garnet. A measurable reduction in the corresponding ferrimagnetic resonance linewidths is found, thus pointing to an increase in electronic relaxation times and longer lived excitations at reduced thicknesses. These changes together with a shift in vibrational frequency of the Bi-O bonds in the garnet at reduced thicknesses result in greatly enhanced magneto-optical performance. These studies were conducted on epitaxial monocrystalline Bi0.8Gd0.2Lu2Fe5O12 films.

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Applied Physics Letters