Synthesis of Hexagonal FeMnP Thin Films from a Single-Source Molecular Precursor
The first heterobimetallic phosphide thin film containing iron, manganese, and phosphorus, derived from the single-source precursor FeMn(CO)8(μ-PH2), has been prepared using a home-built metal-organic chemical vapor deposition apparatus. The thin film contains the same ratio of iron, manganese, and phosphorus as the initial precursor. The film becomes oxidized when deposited on a quartz substrate, whereas the film deposited on an alumina substrate provides a more homogeneous product. Powder X-ray diffraction confirms the formation of a metastable, hexagonal FeMnP phase that was previously only observed at temperatures above 1200 °C. Selected area electron diffraction on single crystals isolated from the films was indexed to the hexagonal phase. The effective moment of the films (μeff=3.68 μB) matches the previously reported theoretical value for the metastable hexagonal phase, whereas the more stable orthorhombic phase is known to be antiferromagnetic. These results not only demonstrate the successful synthesis of a bimetallic, ternary thin film from a single-source precursor, but also the first low temperature approach to the hexagonal phase of FeMnP.