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Durham University

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Publication details for Dr Aidan Hindmarch

Hindmarch, A.T., Parkes, D.E. & Rushforth, A.W. (2012). Fabrication of metallic magnetic nanostructures by argon ion milling using a reversed polarity planar magnetron ion source. Vacuum 86(10): 1600-1604.

Author(s) from Durham


We demonstrate that a planar magnetron may be used as a source of ions for milling micro- and nanostructured devices. Reversing the polarity of the magnetron head, in combination with applying a voltage bias to the thin-film sample, allows acceleration of ions produced in the Ar glow-discharge to energies suitable for pattern transfer via etching. We have fabricated generic Hall-bar and nanowire L-bar structures from sputter deposited Ta/Ni/Ta trilayer films grown onto clean GaAs(001) surfaces. No degradation of the magnetic properties or contamination of the deposition chamber vacuum are observed, demonstrating that this method is effective for etching magnetic device structures patterned by both optical and electron-beam lithography techniques.