A new phase diagram for layered antiferromagnetic films

Nat Mater. 2003 Feb;2(2):112-6. doi: 10.1038/nmat806.


Magnetic multilayer films provide convenient model systems for studying the physics of antiferromagnetic films and surfaces. Here we report on the magnetic reversal and domain structure in antiferromagnetically coupled Co/Pt multilayers that are isomorphic to layered antiferromagnetic films with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy. We observe two distinct remanent states and reversal modes of the system. In mode 1 the magnetization in each layer reverses independently, producing an antiferromagnetic remanent state that shows full lateral correlation and vertical anticorrelation across the interlayers. In mode 2 the reversal in adjacent layers is locally synchronized with a remanent state that is vertically correlated but laterally anticorrelated in ferromagnetic stripe domains. Theoretical energy calculations of the two ground states identify a new phase boundary that is in good agreement with our experimental results.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Chemistry, Physical / methods*
  • Cobalt / chemistry
  • Ferric Compounds / chemistry
  • Magnetics
  • Platinum / chemistry


  • Ferric Compounds
  • Cobalt
  • Platinum