Structural, magnetic and magnetocaloric effects in epitaxial La0.67Ba0.33Ti0.02Mn0.98O3 ferromagnetic thin films grown on 001-oriented SrTiO3 substrates†
Epitaxial La0.67Ba0.33Ti0.02Mn0.98O3 (denoted as LBTMO hereafter) thin films of approximately 95 nm thickness were deposited by a pulsed laser deposition technique onto SrTiO3 (STO) (001) substrates. High-resolution X-ray diffraction (HRXRD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) investigations revealed that the films are epilayers with a four-fold symmetry around the  direction. Cross-sectional TEM and the presence of Pendellosung fringes in the XRD profiles demonstrate smooth interfaces. The STO substrate induces an in-plane compressive strain, which leads to a slight tetragonality of the film structure. The epilayers exhibit paramagnetic-to-ferromagnetic phase transitions at the Curie temperature TC (286 K), close to room temperature. The magnetization easy axis lies in the film plane along the  direction of the (001) substrate. The magnetic entropy change (ΔSM) associated with the second-order magnetic phase transition was determined via magnetization measurements in the temperature range between 210 and 350 K under different magnetic fields. The relative cooling power (RCP) of this film is about 220 J kg−1, somewhat lower than that of bulk Gd (410 J kg−1) for a 50 kOe field change, making the LBTMO ferromagnetic thin films a promising candidate for micro/nanomagnetic refrigeration around room temperature. The proposed universal curve provides a simple method for extrapolating ΔSM in a wide range of fields and temperatures, thus confirming the order of the magnetic transition in this system. The magnetic entropy (ΔSM)max around TC is proportional to (μ0H/TC)2/3 in agreement with the mean-field theory, indicating the existence of long-range ferromagnetic interactions in epitaxial LBTMO thin films.