Investigation into the electrodeposition of Ga-Fe-O thin films

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In this work we present an exhaustive investigation about the possibility of using the electrodeposition technique to grow Ga-Fe-O thin films. The morphological and structural characterization has been performed by means of scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffractometry and X-ray absorption near edge structure measurements. These results have been complemented with chronoamperometric measurements recorded during growth. We have explored different electrolytes, growth potentials, and pH being observed that it is possible to tune the Fe/ Ga ratio by means of the potential whereas the surface morphology is closely related to the Na_3-citrate content in the electrolyte. The surface roughness is reduced as the Fe content in the layer is increased upon the raise of citrate in the electrolyte composition. X-ray diffractometry indicates that Ga can become partially oxidized, whereas Fe seems to keep its metallic state in its vast majority since we have not obtained clear evidences of oxidation. Thus, this investigation highlights the inherent difficulties to synthetize Ga-Fe-O compounds by means of the electrodeposition technique.
CRUE-CSIC (Acuerdos Transformativos 2021) © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. We thank 'CAI Difraccion de rayosX' of UCM for Xray diffractometry measurements, and ICTS Centro Nacional de Microscopia of UCM for SEM characterization. We also acknowledge beamtime at BM-25A at the European Synchrotron (ESRF) , and at BL22-CLAESS at ALBA synchrotron. This work has been financially supported through the projects MAT2015-66888-C3-3-R (MINECO/FEDER) and RTI2018-097895-B-C43 of the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. A. P. would like to acknowledge the postdoctoral fellowship granted by Consejea de Educacion, Juventud y Deporte of Comunidad de Madrid and the European Social Fund (grant PEJD-2016/IND-2233 of the YEI program)