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To clarify the mechanism of the observed room-temperature ferromagnetism (RTF), many studies have been focused on dilute magnetic semiconductor systems. Several investigations have demonstrated that oxygen vacancies play a significant role in mediating the RTF behavior so that much effort has been devoted to confirm their presence. In this investigation, X-ray absorption spectroscopy was combined with ab initio calculations of the electronic structure of Co and Zn in the Zn0.9Co0.1O system before and after annealing, which has been recognized as an effective method of originating oxygen vacancies. A feature at about 20 eV after the rising edge of the Co K-edge XANES that disappears after annealing has been associated with the presence of an oxygen vacancy located in the second shell surrounding the Co atom. Moreover, Zn K-edge XANES spectra point out that this oxygen vacancy affects the electronic structure near the Fermi level, in agreement with density functional theory calculations.
Keywords: DMS; oxygen vacancy; XANES.

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