CoFe2O4 is a hard magnetic ferrite with promising applications in spintronics. This requires thin films of high quality. We report on the sucessful growth and characterization of epitaxial CoFe2O4 films on Pt(111).

CoFe2O4 thin films (5 nm and 20 nm thick) were grown by oxygen assisted molecular beam epitaxy on Pt(111) at 523 K and subsequently annealed at 773 K in vacuum or oxygen. They were characterized in-situ using Auger Electron Spectroscopy, Low-Energy Electron Diffraction, Scanning Tunneling Microscopy and Conversion Electron Mössbauer Spectroscopy. The as-grown films were composed of small, nanometric grains. Annealing of the films produced an increase in the grain size and gave rise to magnetic order at room temperature, although with a fraction of the films remaining in the paramagnetic state. Annealing also induced cobalt segregation to the surface of the thicker films. The measured Mössbauer spectra at low temperature were indicative of cobalt ferrite, the both films showing very similar hyperfine patterns. Annealing in oxygen or vacuum affected the cationic distribution, which was closer to that expected for an inverse spinel in the case of annealing in an oxygen atmosphere. G.D. Soria, K. Freindl, J.E. Prieto, A. Quesada, J. de la Figuera, N. Spiridis, J. Korecki, J.F. Marco, "Growth and characterization of ultrathin cobalt ferrite films on Pt(111)", Applied Surface Science 586, 152672 (2022).