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Ferromagnetism at the interfaces of antiferromagnetic FeRh epilayers

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.82.184418 DOI Help

Authors: R Fan (ISIS Pulsed Neutron and Muon Source) , Christy Kinane (ISIS Pulsed Neutron and Muon Source) , Timothy Charlton (ISIS Pulsed Neutron and Muon Source) , R Dorner , M Ali , M De Vries (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) , R Brydson , Christopher Marrows (University of Leeds) , B. Hickey (University of Leeds) , Dario Arena (Brookhaven National Laboratory) , B K Tanner (University of Durham) , Gareth Nisbet (Diamond Light Source) , Sean Langridge (ISIS, STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Physical Review B , VOL 82 , PAGES 184418

State: Published (Approved)
Published: November 2010

Abstract: The nanoscale magnetic structure of FeRh epilayers has been studied by polarized neutron reflectometry. Epitaxial films with a nominal thickness of 500&#8194;Å were grown on MgO (001) substrates via molecular-beam epitaxy and capped with 20&#8194;Å of MgO. The FeRh films show a clear transition from the antiferromagnetic (AF) state to the ferromagnetic (FM) state with increasing temperature. Surprisingly the films possess a FM moment even at a temperature 80 K below the AF-FM transition temperature of the film. We have quantified the magnitude and spatial extent of this FM moment, which is confined to within &#8764;60–80&#8194;Å of the FeRh near the top and bottom interfaces. These interfacial FM layers account for the unusual effects previously observed in films with thickness <100&#8194;Å. Given the delicate energy balance between the AF and FM ground states we suggest a metastable FM state resides near to the interface within an AF matrix. The length scale over which the FM region resides is consistent with the strained regions of the film

Subject Areas: Physics

Instruments: I16-Materials and Magnetism