MgO-based magnetic heterostructures are crucial building blocks in state-of-the-art spintronic devices. In this study, we performed thermal annealing to control the formation and distribution of FeO across the interface of a Fe-MgO system. The exchange bias phenomenon (i.e., a horizontal shift of magnetic hysteresis loops) was extended from involving only interface spins to involving the full-volume magnetization of the Fe film. The extended and reinforced exchange bias coupling in the annealed Fe/MgO(0 0 1) films can be attributed to the formation of a Fe-FeO matrix-like structure at the Fe/MgO interface under an increasing degree of interface roughness and the reduction or diffusion of oxygen from the interfacial oxides, as indicated by X-ray absorption near edge structures and X-ray reflectivity measurements. Moreover, the thermal stability of exchange bias coupling in the annealed Fe/MgO(0 0 1) films (maximum value at approximately 600 K) was considerably higher than that in conventional thin-film-based Fe/FeO structures (approximately 50 K).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Surfaces and Interfaces
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films