Flexible ϵ-Fe2O3-Terephthalate Thin-Film Magnets through ALD/MLD

Anish Philip, Janne Petteri Niemelä, Girish C. Tewari, Barbara Putz, Thomas Edward James Edwards, Mitsuru Itoh, Ivo Utke, Maarit Karppinen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)


Pliable and lightweight thin-film magnets performing at room temperature are indispensable ingredients of the next-generation flexible electronics. However, conventional inorganic magnets based on f-block metals are rigid and heavy, whereas the emerging organic/molecular magnets are inferior regarding their magnetic characteristics. Here we fuse the best features of the two worlds, by tailoring ϵ-Fe2O3-terephthalate superlattice thin films with inbuilt flexibility due to the thin organic layers intimately embedded within the ferrimagnetic ϵ-Fe2O3 matrix; these films are also sustainable as they do not contain rare heavy metals. The films are grown with sub-nanometer-scale accuracy from gaseous precursors using the atomic/molecular layer deposition (ALD/MLD) technique. Tensile tests confirm the expected increased flexibility with increasing organic content reaching a 3-fold decrease in critical bending radius (2.4 ± 0.3 mm) as compared to ϵ-Fe2O3 thin film (7.7 ± 0.3 mm). Most remarkably, these hybrid ϵ-Fe2O3-terephthalate films do not compromise the exceptional intrinsic magnetic characteristics of the ϵ-Fe2O3 phase, in particular the ultrahigh coercive force (∼2 kOe) even at room temperature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21912-21921
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • atomic layer deposition
  • flexible magnet
  • molecular layer deposition
  • thin film
  • ϵ-FeO organic superlattice

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