Atomic and electronic structure of twin growth defects in magnetite

Daniel Gilks, Zlatko Nedelkoski, Leonardo Lari, Balati Kuerbanjiang, Kosuke Matsuzaki, Tomofumi Susaki, Demie Kepaptsoglou, Quentin Ramasse, Richard Evans, Keith McKenna, Vlado K Lazarov*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report the existence of a stable twin defect in Fe3O4 thin films. By using aberration corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy and spectroscopy the atomic structure of the twin boundary has been determined. The boundary is confined to the (111) growth plane and it is non-stoichiometric due to a missing Fe octahedral plane. By first principles calculations we show that the local atomic structural configuration of the twin boundary does not change the nature of the superexchange interactions between the two Fe sublattices across the twin grain boundary. Besides decreasing the half-metallic band gap at the boundary the altered atomic stacking at the boundary does not change the overall ferromagnetic (FM) coupling between the grains.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20943
Pages (from-to)20943
Number of pages8
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2016

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