Fe layers with thicknesses between 5 and 100 nm were sputtered on mesoporous nanostructured anatase TiO2 templates. The morphology of these hybrid films was probed with grazing-incidence small-angle X-ray scattering and X-ray reflectivity, complemented with magnetic measurements. Three different stages of growth were found, which are characterized by different correlation lengths for each stage. The magnetic behavior correlates with the different growth regimes. At very small thicknesses the TiO2 template is coated and a porous Fe film results, with in-plane and out-of-plane magnetization components. With increasing thickness, agglomeration of Fe occurs and the magnetization gradually turns mostly in plane. At large thicknesses, the iron grows independently of the template and the magnetization is predominantly in plane with a bulk-like characteristic.
KEYWORDS: Metals, Self-assembly