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Non-Collinear Exchange Coupling in Fe/Mn/Fe(001): Insight From a Microscopic STM View

Published

Author(s)

Angela Davies, Robert Celotta, J A. Stroscio

Abstract

The film growth and morphology of epitaxial Mn films grown on Fe(001) single crystal whiskers measured with scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) provides insight into the mechanism of interlayer exchange coupling in Fe/Mn/Fe(001) trilayers. The proximity model of Slonczewski for exchange coupling through an antiferromagnet predicts that the coupling angle between the ferromagnetic layers will oscillate around a mean value of 90? with an amplitude that is very sensitive to the width of the thickness distribution of the spacer layer. We measure the thickness distribution with the STM and find that the coupling angle variation predicted by the proximity model is qualitatively consistent with the actual coupling angle variations in Fe/Mn/Fe(001) measured with scanning electron microscopy with polarization analysis (SEMPA). Going beyond the proximity model and allowing for a non-uniform magnetization of the thin Fe overlayer provides an improved expalnation of the results. We contrast the behavior of Fe/Mn/Fe(001), where the proximity model appears applicable, to coupling through antiferromagnetic Cr in Fe/Cr/Fe(001), where it is not, and discuss possible reasons for the difference.
Citation
Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials

Keywords

antiferromagnetism, biquadratic coupling, interlayer magnetic coupling, non-collinear exchange coupling, scanning tunneling microscopy, thin film growth

Citation

Davies, A. , Celotta, R. and Stroscio, J. (2000), Non-Collinear Exchange Coupling in Fe/Mn/Fe(001): Insight From a Microscopic STM View, Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials (Accessed December 2, 2023)
Created August 1, 2000, Updated February 19, 2017