Multiple antiferromagnet/ferromagnet interfaces as a probe of grain-size-dependent exchange bias in polycrystalline Co/Fe50Mn50

Bruce T. Bolon, M. A. Haugen, A. Abin-Fuentes, J. Deneen, C. B. Carter, C. Leighton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We have used ferromagnet/antiferromagnet/ferromagnet trilayers and ferromagnet/antiferromagnet multilayers to probe the grain size dependence of exchange bias in polycrystalline Co/Fe50Mn50. X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy show that the Fe50Mn50 (FeMn) grain size increases with increasing FeMn thickness in the Co (30 Å)/FeMn system. Hence, in Co(30 Å)/FeMn(tAF Å)/Co(30 Å) trilayers the two Co layers sample different FeMn grain sizes at the two antiferromagnet/ferromagnet interfaces. For FeMn thicknesses above 100 Å, where simple bilayers have a thickness-independent exchange bias, we are therefore able to deduce the influence of FeMn grain size on the exchange bias and coercivity (and their temperature dependence) simply by measuring trilayer and multilayer samples with varying FeMn thicknesses. This can be done while maintaining the (1 1 1) orientation, and with little variation in interface roughness. Increasing the average grain size from 90 to 135 Å results in a fourfold decrease in exchange bias, following an inverse grain size dependence. We interpret the results as being due to a decrease in uncompensated spin density with increasing antiferromagnet grain size, further evidence for the importance of defect-generated uncompensated spins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-63
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials
Volume309
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2007

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Multilayers
grain size
probes
Coercive force
Surface roughness
Transmission electron microscopy
X ray diffraction
Defects
Temperature
coercivity
roughness
temperature dependence
transmission electron microscopy
defects
diffraction
x rays

Keywords

  • Antiferromagnet
  • Exchange bias
  • Grain size
  • Uncompensated spins

Cite this

Multiple antiferromagnet/ferromagnet interfaces as a probe of grain-size-dependent exchange bias in polycrystalline Co/Fe50Mn50. / Bolon, Bruce T.; Haugen, M. A.; Abin-Fuentes, A.; Deneen, J.; Carter, C. B.; Leighton, C.

In: Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, Vol. 309, No. 1, 01.02.2007, p. 54-63.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bolon, Bruce T. ; Haugen, M. A. ; Abin-Fuentes, A. ; Deneen, J. ; Carter, C. B. ; Leighton, C. / Multiple antiferromagnet/ferromagnet interfaces as a probe of grain-size-dependent exchange bias in polycrystalline Co/Fe50Mn50. In: Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials. 2007 ; Vol. 309, No. 1. pp. 54-63.
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