Control of magnetic anisotropy in Fe1-xCox films on vicinal GaAs and Sc1-yEryAs surfaces

A. F. Isakovic, J. Berezovsky, P. A. Crowell, L. C. Chen, D. M. Carr, B. D. Schultz, C. J. Palmstrøm

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


We demonstrate that two distinct surface contributions to the magnetocrystalline anisotropy can be used to control the magnetic properties of thin films of bcc Fe1-xCox grown on GaAs (100) and Sc1-yEryAs (100). The bare GaAs (100) surface has twofold symmetry, and Fe1-xCox films grown directly on it show a strong uniaxial magnetic anisotropy. Fourfold symmetry is restored in films grown on interlayers of Sc1-yEryAs, in which the rock-salt structure provides a fourfold symmetric surface. A uniaxial magnetic anisotropy can be induced in this case by miscutting the substrate towards a {111} plane, so that vicinal steps run along a 〈011〉 direction. A simple Néel pair-bonding model describes the evolution of the anisotropy with the degree of miscut. For miscut GaAs (100) surfaces without interlayers, both the intrinsic anisotropy originating from the surface bonding and a step-induced term contribute to the total magnetic anisotropy. Depending on the orientation of the miscut, the step contribution can either enhance or partially suppress the intrinsic uniaxial anisotropy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6674-6676
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number11 II
StatePublished - Jun 1 2001
Event8th Joint Magnetism and Magnetic Materials-Intermag Conference - San Antonio, TX, United States
Duration: Jan 7 2001Jan 11 2001


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