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Scanning Electron Microscopy with Polarization Analysis (SEMPA) Investigations of Multilayer Magnetism



John Unguris, Robert Celotta, Daniel T. Pierce


This was an extended abstract prepared for inclusion in the Microscopy & Microanalysis '99 Proceedings. It is a summary of Observation of Antiparallel Magnetic Order in Weakly Coupled Co/Cu Multilayers, which was published in Physical Review Letters, Vol. 82, No. 13, March 1999.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 0.5 m to 1.5 m.
Proceedings Title
Microscopy Microanalysis
Suppl 2: Proceedings
Conference Dates
August 4, 1999
Conference Location
Portland, OR, USA
Conference Title




Unguris, J. , Celotta, R. and Pierce, D. (1999), Scanning Electron Microscopy with Polarization Analysis (SEMPA) Investigations of Multilayer Magnetism, Microscopy Microanalysis, Portland, OR, USA, [online], (Accessed June 25, 2024)


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Created August 3, 1999, Updated October 12, 2021