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Magnetic coupling at rare earth ferromagnet/transition metal ferromagnet interfaces: A comprehensive study of Gd/Ni

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posted on 11.06.2018, 12:14 by T.D.C. Higgs, S. Bonetti, H. Ohldag, Niladri BanerjeeNiladri Banerjee, X.L. Wang, A.J. Rosenberg, Z. [Univ. of Cambridge] Cai, J.H. Zhao, K.A. Moler, J.W.A. Robinson
Thin film magnetic heterostructures with competing interfacial coupling and Zeeman energy provide a fertile ground to study phase transition between different equilibrium states as a function of external magnetic field and temperature. A rare-earth (RE)/transition metal (TM) ferromagnetic multilayer is a classic example where the magnetic state is determined by a competition between the Zeeman energy and antiferromagnetic interfacial exchange coupling energy. Technologically, such structures offer the possibility to engineer the macroscopic magnetic response by tuning the microscopic interactions between the layers. We have performed an exhaustive study of nickel/gadolinium as a model system for understanding RE/TM multilayers using the element-specific measurement technique x-ray magnetic circular dichroism, and determined the full magnetic state diagrams as a function of temperature and magnetic layer thickness. We compare our results to a modified Stoner-Wohlfarth-based model and provide evidence of a thickness-dependent transition to a magnetic fan state which is critical in understanding magnetoresistance effects in RE/TM systems. The results provide important insight for spintronics and superconducting spintronics where engineering tunable magnetic inhomogeneity is key for certain applications.

Funding

T.D.C.H. and J.W.A.R. acknowledge funding from the EPSRC [EP/I038047/1], the EPSRC Programme grant “Superconducting Spintronics” [EP/N017242/1] and the Leverhulme Trust [IN-2013-033]. S.B. acknowledges support from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. X.L.W. and J.H.Z. acknowledge support from the MOST of China [2015CB921500].

History

School

  • Science

Department

  • Physics

Published in

Scientific Reports

Volume

6

Citation

HIGGS, T.D.C. ... et al., 2016. Magnetic coupling at rare earth ferromagnet/transition metal ferromagnet interfaces: A comprehensive study of Gd/Ni. Scientific Reports, 6: 30092.

Publisher

Nature Publishing Group

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Acceptance date

29/06/2016

Publication date

2016

Notes

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Nature Group under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

ISSN

2045-2322

eISSN

2045-2322

Language

en

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