The microstructural and crystallographic characteristics of electroplated soft magnetic CoNiFe thin films were investigated by transmission electron microscopy. Dark field images showed that the film with fcc-bcc dual crystals has a smaller grain size than the fcc or bcc single phase film. The fcc films were found to have a unique microstructure with twin-like stacking faults with relatively uniform grain size distribution, and such twins were also found in the dual phase films. Some coarse grains were found in the bcc films with a twin-free microstructure. The film prepared from the thiourea bath had a smaller grain size than that of the film from the saccharin bath. It is suggested from the diffraction patterns that the fcc and bcc components of the films are substitutional solid solutions of Co, Ni and Fe. The lattice constants of fcc CoNiFe films are determined by atomic concentrations of the three elements. The crystal structures of bcc films are determined by Fe, and the lattice constants are slightly changed by the incorporation of Co and Ni into the bcc lattice of Fe. The CoNiFe films obtained from saccharin and thiourea baths have different lattice constants, because of different sulfur contents of the films.
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