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Open Access Nano Express

Magnetic anisotropy in isotropic and nanopatterned strongly exchange-coupled nanolayers

José Vergara*, Cristina Favieres and Vicente Madurga

Author Affiliations

Laboratory of Magnetism, Department of Physics, Public University of Navarre, Campus de Arrosadía s/n, Pamplona, 31006, Spain

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:577  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-577

Published: 22 October 2012

Abstract

In this study, the fabrication of magnetic multilayers with a controlled value of the in-plane uniaxial magnetic anisotropy field in the range of 12 to 72 kA/m was achieved. This fabrication was accomplished by the deposition of bilayers consisting of an obliquely deposited (54°) 8-nm-thick anisotropic Co layer and a second isotropic Co layer that was deposited at a normal incidence over the first layer. By changing the thickness value of this second Co layer (X) by modifying the deposition time, the value of the anisotropy field of the sample could be controlled. For each sample, the thickness of each bilayer did not exceed the value of the exchange correlation length calculated for these Co bilayers. To increase the volume of the magnetic films without further modification of their magnetic properties, a Ta spacer layer was deposited between successive Co bilayers at 54° to prevent direct exchange coupling between consecutive Co bilayers. This step was accomplished through the deposition of multilayered films consisting of several (Co8 nm-54°/CoX nm-0°/Ta6 nm-54°) trilayers.

Keywords:
Magnetic multilayers; Exchange coupling; Magnetic anisotropy; 75.70.-i; 75.30.Gw; 81.15.Fg