Physical Geography and Sciences


Michael Grey



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Michael Grey, Physics
Faculty Mentor: Professor Ram Rai, Physics

This research project was focused on the deposition of Mn4Ta2O9 thin films and investigation of these films for their structural, magnetic, and optical properties. We synthesized Mn4Ta2O9 via solid-state reaction and pressed into a 1-inch diameter pellet of ~1.5 mm thickness. The pellet was used as a target for Magnetron Sputtering to deposit Mn4Ta2O9 thin films on c-axis Al2O3 (sapphire), (111) yttrium-stabilized ZrO2, and c-axis LiNbO3 single crystal substrates. The x-ray diffraction analysis of the bulk and thin films show a mixed phase compounds containing Mn4Ta2O9 and MnTa2O6. The magnetic measurements of the bulk sample revealed an antiferromagnetic transition temperature of 97 K, close to the expected transition temperature of 102 K. On the other hand, the thin films were shown to have transition temperatures of 137 K, which is higher than the expected value. We also measured the optical properties of the thin films by Optical Spectroscopy in the wavelength range of 190 – 2500 nm. The thin films did not absorb light with wavelengths above 500 nm and had significant absorption below 250 nm, indicating an energy bandgap of ~2.5 eV. The future research will focus on improving the synthesis process to achieve ~99% purity of Mn4Ta2O9.

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Studies of Mn4Ta2O9 Thin Films Deposited by Magnetron Sputtering
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