School of Science
Since 2007, at the Electron Science Research Institute (ESRI) nano-fabrication laboratories, Edith Cowan University, Australia, we have devoted research efforts to the synthesis and characterization of bismuth-containing ferrite-garnet-type thin-film magneto-optic (MO) materials of different compositions. We report on the growth and characteristics of radio frequency (RF) magnetron sputtered bismuth-substituted iron-garnet thin films. We study the process parameters associated with the RF magnetron sputter deposition technique and investigate the results of optimizing process parameters. To achieve the best MO properties, we employ a few unique techniques, such as co-sputtered nanocomposite films and all-garnet multilayer structures, as well as the application of oxygen plasma treatment to amorphous garnet layers immediately following the deposition process. We demonstrated a remarkable enhancement in the MO properties of Bi-containing ferrite-type garnet thin-film materials, including record-high MO figures of merit and improved conventional and unconventional hysteresis loops of Faraday rotation. Previously unpublished research results on the forward-looking applications of magnetic garnet coatings applied to microparticles of advanced luminescent materials are reported. In the context of developing the next-generation ultra-fast optoelectronic devices, such as light intensity switches and modulators, high-speed flat panel displays, and high-sensitivity sensors, it is important to consider the desirable optical, magnetic, and magneto-optic properties that are found in highly bismuth-substituted iron garnet thin-film materials of various composition types.
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