We present a detailed structural and magnetic characterization of sputter deposited thin film erbium, determined by x-ray diffraction, transport measurements, magnetometry and neutron diffraction. This provides information on the onset and change of the magnetic state as a function of temperature and applied magnetic field. Many of the features of bulk material are reproduced. Also of interest is the identification of a conical magnetic state which repeats with a wavevector parallel to the c axis '., c = 4/17 in units of the reciprocal lattice parameter c ∗, which is a state not observed in any other thin film or bulk measurements. The data from the various techniques are combined to construct magnetic field, temperature (H, T)-phase diagrams for the 200 nm-thick Er sample that serves as a foundation for future exploitation of this complex magnetic thin film system.
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