The interdiffusion kinetics of ultrahigh vacuum deposited Ta/Ni81Fe19 short-period multilayers films have been investigated, and changes in microstructure were related to magnetic properties. Small angle X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy were used to study layer morphology evolution and interdiffusion during post-growth isothermal annealing in the temperature range 300 – 600°C. The kinetic analysis suggests that interface roughening due to grain growth, and grain-boundary mediated diffusion of Ta occurs concurrently at early anneal times in the Ni81Fe19 films. Subsequent grainboundary and lattice diffusion of Ta lead to a reduction of magnetization and increase in coercivity of Ni81Fe19.
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