Morphology and magnetic properties of Co/Si(1 1 1) interfaces have been investigated using scanning tunneling microscope and surface magneto-optic Kerr effect techniques. As deposited at room temperature for Co/Si(1 1 1), defects have been observed with shapes of dark patches and bright islands on the surface with different Co coverage. The defect formation causes a rough interface. For subsequently deposited Co layers, the interfacial state between Co and the Si substrate results in the appearance of both the longitudinal and polar Kerr loops. After annealing treatments, interdiffusion of Co atoms and Si(1 1 1) substrate occurs as revealed by Auger electron spectroscopy. Scanning tunneling microscope images show the formation of Si clusters with average diameter of 10 nm at high temperatures. The disappearance of ferromagnetism of the films occurs due to the structural and compositional changes.
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