Applied Physics A

, Volume 80, Issue 8, pp 1701-1706

First online:

Magnetic nanowire arrays in anodic alumina membranes: Rutherford backscattering characterization

  • M. Hernández-VélezAffiliated withApplied Physics Department, C-XII, Universidad Autónoma de MadridInstituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid (ICMM-CSIC) Email author 
  • , K.R. PirotaAffiliated withInstituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid (ICMM-CSIC)
  • , F. PásztiAffiliated withCentro de Micro-Análisis de Materiales (CMAM)KFKI-Research Institute for Particle and Nuclear Physics
  • , D. NavasAffiliated withInstituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid (ICMM-CSIC)
  • , A. ClimentAffiliated withCentro de Micro-Análisis de Materiales (CMAM)
  • , M. VázquezAffiliated withInstituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid (ICMM-CSIC)

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Systematic study of magnetic nanowire arrays grown in anodic alumina membranes (AAM) has been done by means of Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy (RBS). The AAM used as templates were morphologically characterized by using high resolution scanning electron microscopy (HRSEM), fast Fourier transform (FFT) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). The highly ordered templates with a mean pore diameter size of 30 nanometers, a mean inter-pore spacing of 100 nm and lengths ranging from 4 to 180 microns were obtained through two-steps anodization process, and the Ni and Co nanowire arrays were grown by electrodeposition techniques. The main attention is addressed to Ni nanowire arrays. RBS results allowed us to determine the real depth profile of atomic composition of the obtained nanowire arrays. In addition, the RBS spectra fitting showed that the porosity increased from the top to the bottom of the samples. Two phenomenological models are proposed to understand the apparition of that secondary porosity and a linear relation between the total amount of electrodeposited Ni and the electrodeposition time was obtained. As an example, it is also reported the relation between RBS results and magnetic properties, such as coercive field and remanence/saturation magnetization ratio of the samples. Particularly, for Ni nanowires arrays obtained by using voltage pulses, it is demonstrated that the larger the nanowires, the higher the definition for easy axis parallel to the nanowire length is possible.