The magnetism at the surface of a Cr film grown epitaxially on a Fe(100) whisker is observed as a function of Cr thickness by scanning electron microscopy with polarization analysis. Use of a wedge-shaped film of linearly increasing thickness allows the magnetism to be followed continuously for 75 Cr layers. Over the temperature range measured from just below the Neel temperature of bulk Cr, TN), to 1.8 TN, the surface magnetic moment is seen to persist and change direction with each additional Cr layer, but there are phase slips in this antiferromagnetic ordering, These are consistent with an incommensurate spin density wave (SDW) in the Cr film having a wavelength of 40 layers at TN. An irregularity in the antiferromagnetic stacking order in the first four layers is discussed and the behavior of the moments at the subsequent phase slip is examined. The limitations which prevent the determination of the surface magnetic moment from the spin polarization of secondary electrons are discussed.
Citation: Journal of Applied Physics
Pub Type: Journals