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Atomic and electronic structure of twin growth defects in magnetite

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JournalScientific Reports
DateAccepted/In press - 14 Jan 2016
DatePublished (current) - 15 Feb 2016
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)20943
Original languageEnglish


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.

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© 2016, The Authors


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