Magnetization Reversal Mechanism in Exchange-Biased Spring-like Thin-Film Composite

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2020 Sep 2;12(35):39926-39934. doi: 10.1021/acsami.0c14115. Epub 2020 Aug 19.


Development of modern spintronic devices requires materials exhibiting specific magnetic effects. In this paper, we investigate a magnetization reversal mechanism in a [Co/Pdx]7/CoO/[Co/Pdy]7 thin-film composite, where an antiferromagnet is sandwiched between a hard and a soft ferromagnets with different coercivities. The antiferromagnet/ferromagnet interfaces give rise to the exchange bias effect. The application of soft and hard ferromagnetic films causes exchange-spring-like behavior, while the choice of the Co/Pd multilayers provides large out-of-plane magnetic anisotropy. We observed that the magnitude and the sign of the exchange bias anisotropy field are related to the arrangement of the magnetic moments in the antiferromagnetic layer. This ordering is induced by the spin orientation present in neighboring ferromagnetic films, which is, in turn, dependent on the orientation and strength of the external magnetic field.

Keywords: FORC; antiferromagnet; exchange bias; magnetization reversal; multilayers; perpendicular magnetic anisotropy; spring magnet; thin films.