TITLE

Size dependence of the exchange bias field in NiO/Ni nanostructures

AUTHOR(S)
Fraune, M.; Ru¨diger, U.; Gu¨ntherodt, G.; Cardoso, S.; Freitas, P.
PUB. DATE
December 2000
SOURCE
Applied Physics Letters;12/4/2000, Vol. 77 Issue 23
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
NiO/Ni wires have been investigated as a function of their width in order to investigate the size dependence of exchange bias. The samples have been prepared by e-beam lithography and ion milling of ion beam sputtered thin films. For NiO/Ni wires narrower than 3 μm, the exchange bias field significantly depends on the wire width. A NiO/Ni film shows an exchange bias field of -78 Oe whereas the exchange bias field of wires narrower than 200 nm is reduced to approximately -40 Oe. The coercive field of the NiO/Ni film is 28 Oe and increases to 210 Oe for the narrowest wires. The decrease of the exchange bias field for the narrowest wires is consistent with a recent microscopic model of exchange bias where the appearance of a unidirectional anisotropy in ferromagnet/antiferromagnet bilayers has been attributed to the presence of antiferromagnetic domains in the bulk of the antiferromagnet. A possible onset of a transition from a multidomain to a single-domain state of the antiferromagnet as a function of the NiO/Ni wire width seems to be the origin for the observed decrease of the exchange bias field for narrow wires. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.
ACCESSION #
4413064

 

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