Using x-ray photoemission electron microscopy and the magneto-optical Kerr effect, we have demonstrated a perpendicular magnetic anisotropy that could be due to exchange coupling between the ferromagnetic and antiferromagnetic layers. The results of magnetic imaging and hysteresis loops show that the magnetization of Fe and permalloy (Py) films orients from the in-plane to perpendicular direction, as an Mn underlayer is above a threshold value that depends on the Fe or Py layer thickness. Their thickness-dependent behaviors can be quantitatively described by a phenomenological model that takes into account the finite-size effect of the antiferromagnet on exchange coupling. The anisotropy energy extracted from the model and the thermal stability of perpendicular magnetization enhanced with the increase of the Mn underlayer further demonstrate the exchange coupling nature.
|Journal||Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics|
|Publication status||Published - 2011 Mar 22|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics