Structure and phase formation in Cu-Mn alloy thin films deposited at room temperature

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Transmission electron microscopy characterization of Cu-Mn alloy thin films deposited by DC magnetron sputtering is applied to reveal the formation of phases throughout the composition range. Pure Cu and Mn films exhibit face-centred cubic (fcc) Cu and α-Mn phases, respectively. At room temperature the low Mn content films have fcc structure (γ-phase). Mn can substitute Cu in the fcc Cu lattice up to ∼35 at.% Mn. The lattice parameter of fcc Cu-Mn alloy films follows a linear relationship of a 0 = a Cu + 0.322c (in Å), where a Cu = 3.615 Å is the lattice parameter of Cu and c is the Mn atomic concentration. At high Mn content, above 50 at.% Mn, a homogeneous one-phase structure is observed, possessing the short-range order of α-Mn. The incorporation of Cu into Mn suggests that this structure changes from crystalline α-Mn to disordered structure as the Cu content increases. A narrow two-phase region exists between 35 and 45 at.% Mn. A grain size minimum of 2-3 nm was observed in the 35-65 at.% Mn region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7226-7231
Number of pages6
JournalActa Materialia
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2012


  • Alloy thin films
  • Amorphous alloy
  • Cu-Mn
  • Nanograin alloy
  • Phase analysis by TEM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Metals and Alloys

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