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Microstructure and magnetic properties of the Cu-1% Co single crystal

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The Cu-Co alloys has been found to be ideal candidates to study the giant magnetoresistance phenomenon (GMR), originally observed in thin magnetic films [1], that have focused great research interest. Such materials can be applied in micro-switching devices and detection heads in magnetic recording. The GMR phenomenon, a big change of the electrical resistivity caused by external magnetic field, is attributed to the spin-dependent scattering that takes place in the interfaces between magnetic particles and the metallic matrix in which they are embedded [2÷5]. The films made of the alloys based on non-magnetic elements (Cu, Ag) with precipitated ferromagnetic particles (Fe, Co) appear to posses GMR properties [6, 7]. However, besides the GMR phenomenon, such alloys provide a unique opportunity to study their basic properties, such their microstructures and magnetic properties. The purpose of this work is to present the results of the transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis which provides the real size distribution of Co particles in the Cu-1% Co single crystal. We report also the results of the magnetic measurements in connection with the real distribution of Co particles which allows us to explain the relation between the size of the Co particle and the magnetic properties. EXPERIMENTAL DETAILS In the present study the Cu-1% Co (wt. %) single crystal of the origin reported in [8] was used. The investigations were performed on a sample aged at 600°C for 24 hours. The samples for TEM and magnetic investigations were cut out from the single crystal. TEM investigations were performed using a JEOL JEM-2010 ARP microscope on thin foils prepared by the electropolishing method. Image analyses were carried out using the ImageJ software. The magnetic properties were measured using a standard vibrating sample magnetometer in the external[...]

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