[en] We have studied the influence of the stoichiometry on the structural, magnetic, and magneto-optical properties of bismuth iron garnet (Bi3Fe5O12) thin films grown by pulsed laser deposition. Films with different stoichiometries have been obtained by varying the Bi/Fe ratio of the target and the oxygen pressure during deposition. Stoichiometry variations influence the Curie temperature T-C by tuning the (Fe)-O-[Fe] geometry: TC increases when the lattice parameter decreases, contrary to what happens in the case of stoichiometric rare-earth iron garnets. The thermal variation of the magnetization, the Faraday rotation, and the Faraday ellipticity have been analyzed in the frame of the Neel two-sublattice magnetization model giving energies of -48 K (4.1 meV), -29 K (2.5 meV), and 84 K (7.3 meV) for the three magnetic exchange integrals j(aa), j(dd), and j(ad), respectively. Magneto-optical spectroscopy linked to compositional analysis by Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy shows that Bi and/or Fe deficiencies also affect the spectral variation (between 1.77 and 3.1 eV). Our results suggest that bismuth deficiency has an effect on the magneto-optical response of the tetrahedral Fe sublattice, whereas small iron deficiencies affect predominantly the magneto-optical response of the octahedral sublattice.
Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (Communauté française de Belgique) - F.R.S.-FNRS ; commissariat général aux relations internationales ; Royal Military Academy (Brussels) ; Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)