Structural, mechanical, and magnetic properties of ferrite–austenite mixture in evaporated 304 stainless steel thin films

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In this paper, we investigate the structure, composition, magnetic, and mechanical properties of stainless steel thin films formed by thermal evaporation technique. These thin films reveal novel structural and physical properties where they were found to consist of nanocrystals that are *90 % body-centred cubic crystal structure which holds ferromagnetic properties (a-phase), and *10 % face-centred cubic crystal structure which is paramagnetic at room temperature (c-phase). The presence of the above phases was quantified by X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, and conversion electron Mo¨ssbauer spectroscopy. The magnetic properties were evaluated by a superconducting quantum interference device magnetometer, and they confirmed the dual-phase crystal structure of the stainless thin films, where the presence of c-phase reduced the magnetization of the produced thin films. In addition, the fabricated stainless steel thin films did not contain micro-cracks, and they exhibit a tensile stress of about 1.7 GPa, hardness of 7.5 GPa, and elastic modulus of 104 GPa.