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Anisotropic x-ray magnetic linear dichroism and spectromicroscopy of interfacial Co/NiO(001)

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.83.064409 DOI Help

Authors: Gerrit Van Der Laan (Diamond Light Source) , Neil Telling (University of Manchester) , Alessandro Potenza (Diamond Light Source) , Sarnjeet Dhesi (Diamond Light Source) , Elke Arenholz (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Physical Review B , VOL 83 (6) , PAGES 064409

State: Published (Approved)
Published: February 2011
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 545

Abstract: Photoemission electron microscopy (PEEM) with linearly polarized x rays is used to determine the orientation of antiferromagnetic domains by monitoring the relative peak intensities at the 3d transition metal L2 absorption edge. In such an analysis it is necessary to take into account the orientations of the x-ray polarization ˆE and magnetization ˆH with respect to the crystalline axes.We address this problem by presenting a general expression of the angular dependence for both x-ray absorption (XA) spectroscopy and x-ray magnetic linear dichroism (XMLD) for arbitrary directions of ˆE and ˆH in the (001) cubic plane. In cubic symmetry the angular-dependent XMLD is a linear combination of two spectra with different photon energy dependencies. As a result the intensity maxima of the XA and XMLD are no longer found for ˆE parallel to ˆH and their directions will vary with photon energy. When ˆE or ˆH is along a high-symmetry axis there is only one spectrum. The angular-dependent XMLD can be separated into an isotropic part, which is symmetric around ˆH, and an anisotropic part, which depends on the orientation of the crystal axes. The anisotropic part has maximal intensity when ˆE and ˆH have equal but opposite angles with respect to the [100] direction. The Ni2+ L2 edge has the peculiarity that the isotropic part vanishes, which has the interesting consequence that the maximum in the XMLD intensity is obtained not only for ˆE  ˆH  [100] but also for (ˆE  [110], ˆH  [110]). We apply the angular-dependent theory to determine the spin orientation near the Co/NiO(100) interface. The PEEM images show that the ferromagnetic Co spins and antiferromagnetic NiO spins are aligned perpendicular to each other. By rotating the sample with respect to the linear x-ray polarization we furthermore find that the perpendicular coupling with the ferromagnetic Co layer at the interface causes a canting of the antiferromagnetic Ni moments. This shows that taking into account the angular dependence of the XMLD in the detailed analysis of PEEM images can lead to an accurate retrieval of the spin axes of the antiferromagnetic domains.

Subject Areas: Physics

Instruments: I06-Nanoscience