A new technique based on ultrashort laser ablation of solid targets in vacuum was used to synthesize films of individual nanocrystals of magnetic atoms (Fe and Ni). Laser pulses of 300 fs at 527 nm were used to produce a plume mainly constituted of nanoparticles of the target materials. After vacuum expansion, the plume was deposited on substrates at room temperature to produce ≈1 µm thick films. Atomic force microscopy and x-ray diffraction analyses of the deposited samples have demonstrated the possibility of producing films constituted of high quality, individual nanocrystals of the atomic targets, with an average size of ≈20 nm, and a narrow size distribution. The ultrashort laser ablation and vacuum deposition proved to be a very versatile and simple technique for obtaining nanocrystal films of different materials.
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