Dispersion of the pinning field direction of a ferromagnet/antiferromagnet coupled system

Hou, Chunhong; Chen, Jian; Kief, Mark T.; Gao, Zheng; Mao, Sining; Pokhil, Taras
January 2001
Applied Physics Letters;1/8/2001, Vol. 78 Issue 2, p237
Academic Journal
The exchange bias field of a ferromagnet/antiferromagnet bilayer is usually measured by the unidirectional shift of the hysteresis loop of the ferromagnetic layer. The exchange bias field results from interfacial exchange coupling between the spins in the ferromagnetic and antiferromagnetic layers. In general, the spins of the antiferromagnetic layer can vary locally in their anisotropy directions resulting in a distribution in local pinning directions. This letter reports a quantitative study on this distribution or dispersion using the anisotropic magnetoresistive (AMR) effect in a small rotating magnetic field. The AMR data as a function of the rotating angle of the field measured at a low field reveal the dispersion inside the ferromagnetic layer and at the interface of a ferromagnet/antiferromagnet system. The interaction between the domains within the ferromagnetic layer also plays a significant role in the dispersion inside the ferromagnetic layer. © 2001 American Institute of Physics.


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