NiP thin films were deposited on an H 3 PO 4 -etched Si substrate by means of electroless-plating. By varying the plating time, we were able to deposit NiP films with various thicknesses. Thickness effects upon the structural morphology and magnetic properties of the NiP films were investigated, and they can be comprehended with a model of the deposition mechanism. The results demonstrate that the etched Si surface contained groove-like microstructure which shaped the columnar structure inside the NiP films and favored the film deposition; this was hard to achieve with a smooth-surfaced Si substrate. The well-developed columnar structure resulted in a perpendicular anisotropy due to its vertical nature, which can become superior to the film's longitudinal anisotropy if the applied field is sufficient.
- Atomic force microscopy
- Magnetic properties
- Nickel-phosphorus alloy
- Structural morphology
- Transmission electron microscopy