Magnetic anisotropy and evolution of ground-state domain structures in bcc Fe81Ni19/Co(001) superlattices
2008 (English)In: Physical Review B. Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, ISSN 1098-0121, E-ISSN 1550-235X, Vol. 78, no 2, 024421- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The magnetic anisotropy and evolution of striped magnetic domain structures in bcc Fe81Ni19/Co(001) superlattices with the total thickness ranging from 85 to 1370 nm has been studied by magneto-optical Kerr effect and magnetic force microscopy. At a thickness of about 85 nm [25 bilayers (BL)] the domains appear as stripe domains, typical for perpendicular anisotropy films, with the weak cubic anisotropy of the in-plane magnetization component stabilizing the stripe direction. The magnetic domain period strongly depends on the thickness of the superlattice. As the thickness increases, the equilibrium magnetization orients at oblique angles with respect to the film plane and continuously varies with the thickness from in-plane to out-of-plane. We first apply a simple phenomenological model which correctly predicts the transition from in-plane to out-of-plane magnetization as well as increasing domain period and saturation field with increasing BL number. The results indicate the presence of partial flux-closure domains at the film surface with the tilt angle continuously varying with the superlattice thickness. By solving a linearized Landau–Lifshitz equation together with Maxwell’s equations in magnetostatic approximation for samples consisting of up to 1000 individual layers, we calculate the spin-wave dispersion and determine the stability conditions for the saturated ferromagnetic state. From these results the dependence of the saturation field on the number of layers is inferred and agrees well with the experiment. The uniaxial bulk anisotropy is attributed to distortions along the c axis and the results further show evidence for the presence of an easy-plane interface anisotropy in these samples.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
The American Physical Society , 2008. Vol. 78, no 2, 024421- p.
Domain effects, magnetization curves, and hysteresis, Magnetic properties of thin films, surfaces, and interfaces, Magnetic properties of nanostructures
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-119892DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.78.024421ISI: 000258190200080OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-119892DiVA: diva2:301212