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Observation of antiparallel magnetic order in weakly coupled Co/Cu multilayers



Julie Borchers, Joseph Dura, John Unguris, D Tulchinsky, Michael H. Kelley, Charles Majkrzak, S. Y. Hsu, R Loloee, W Pratt, J Bass


Polarized neutron reflectivity and scanning electron microscopy with polarization analysis are combined to determine the magnetic structure of Co(6 nm)/Cu(6 nm) multilayers. These data resolve a controversy regarding the low-field state of giant-magnetoresistive (GMR) multilayers with weak coupling. As-prepared samples show a strong antiparallel correlation of in-plane ferromagnetic Co domains across the Cu. At the coercive field, the Co domains are uncorrelated. This irreversible transition explains the decrease in magnetoresistance from the as-prepared to the coercive state and indicates that the as-prepared state best represents the antiparallel configuration assumed in GMR analysis. For both states, the Co moments reside in domains with in-plane sizes of asymp} 0.5 - 1.5 υm.
Physical Review Letters
No. 13


interlayer exchange coupling, magnetic multilayers, polarized neutron reflectivity, scanning electron microscopy, w/polarization analysis


Borchers, J. , Dura, J. , Unguris, J. , Tulchinsky, D. , Kelley, M. , Majkrzak, C. , Hsu, S. , Loloee, R. , Pratt, W. and Bass, J. (1998), Observation of antiparallel magnetic order in weakly coupled Co/Cu multilayers, Physical Review Letters, [online], (Accessed July 18, 2024)


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Created May 22, 1998, Updated October 12, 2021