Clusters and islands of Fe atoms have been prepared by noble gas buffer layer assisted growth as well as by standard molecular beam epitaxy on Pt substrates. Xe buffer layers have been utilized to promote the formation of compact, relaxed Fe clusters with narrow size distribution. Without the Xe buffer, strained Fe islands with a characteristic misfit dislocation network are formed. Magnetization loops obtained by magneto-optical Kerr effect measurements reveal that in-plane easy magnetization axis is only found for the relaxed clusters, pointing out the important role of epitaxial lattice deformations for the magnetic anisotropy.
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