Fe/M (M = Ag, Zn and Sn) multilayers prepared by a vacuum evaporation method are studied by Mössbauer spectroscopy (MS), Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy (RBS) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). For the case of an M = Ag multilayer, MS reveals that Fe in the multilayer remains as an α-phase down to the layer thickness of 10 nm. This result is in agreement with the RBS result that Fe and Ag form a completely discrete layer structure without any mutual mixing. For the case of M = Zn and Sn, RBS reveals that a considerable mixing has taken place between Fe and Sn during the specimen preparation. MS on Fe/Sn specimens with different layer thickness shows that an alloy phase of about 5 nm thickness is formed at the interface. Structural as well as magnetic properties of the alloy phase are discussed based on MS at different temperatures and on reported results of the intermetallic compound FeSn.
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