Antiferromagnetic interlayer exchange coupling across epitaxial, Ge-containing spacers

Gareev, R. R.; Bürgler, D. F.; Schreiber, R.; Braak, H.; Buchmeier, M.; Grünberg, P. A.
September 2003
Applied Physics Letters;9/1/2003, Vol. 83 Issue 9, p1806
Academic Journal
We give experimental evidence of antiferromagnetic interlayer exchange coupling of Fe(001) layers across epitaxial, Ge-containing spacers consisting of either Ge wedges embedded between two Si boundary layers or Si–Ge-multilayers. The coupling strengths are of the order of 1 mJ/m[sup 2] and decay on a length scale below 2 Å as determined from magneto-optic Kerr effect and Brillouin light scattering. The coupling evolves with the spacer thickness from ferromagnetic to prevailing 90° or antiferromagnetic for Ge wedges and Si–Ge multilayers, respectively. The bilinear coupling is comparable in both cases, but the biquadratic contribution is suppressed for Si–Ge-multilayer spacers. Thus, Si–Ge-multilayer spacers give rise to perfect antiparallel alignment of the Fe film magnetizations. © 2003 American Institute of Physics.


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