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Anisotropic magnetic switching along hard [110]-type axes in Er-doped DyFe 2 /YFe 2 thin films

DOI: 10.1016/j.jmmm.2017.05.007 DOI Help

Authors: G. B. G. Stenning (University of Southampton) , G. J. Bowden (University of Southampton) , G. Van Der Laan (Diamond Light Source) , A. I. Figueroa (Diamond Light Source) , P. Bencok (Diamond Light Source) , P. Steadman (Diamond Light Source) , T. Hesjedal (University of Oxford)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Journal Of Magnetism And Magnetic Materials

State: Published (Approved)
Published: May 2017
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 8213 , 13758

Abstract: Epitaxial-grown DyFe2/YFe2 multilayer thin films form an ideal model system for the study of magnetic exchange springs. Here the DyFe2 (YFe2) layers are magnetically hard (soft). In the presence of a magnetic field, exchange springs form in the YFe2 layers. Recently, it has been demonstrated that placing small amounts of Er into the centre of the YFe2 springs generates substantial changes in magnetic behavior. In particular, (i) the number of exchange-spring states is increased dramatically, (ii) the resulting domain-wall states cannot simply be described as either Néel or Bloch walls, (iii) the Er and Dy magnetic loops are strikingly different, and (iv) it is possible to engineer Er-induced magnetic exchange-spring collapse. Here, results are presented for Er-doped (110)-oriented DyFe2(60Å)/YFe2(240Å)15(60Å)/YFe2(240Å)15 multilayer films, at 100 K in fields of up to 12 T. In particular, we contrast magnetic loops for fields applied along seemingly equivalent hard-magnetic [110]-type axes. MBE-grown cubic Laves thin films offer the unique feature of allowing to apply the magnetic field along (i) a hard out-of-plane [110]-axis (the growth axis) and (ii ) a similar hard in-plane [View the MathML source1¯10]-axis. Differences are found and attributed to the competition between the crystal-field interaction at the Er site and the long-range dipole-dipole interaction. In particular, the out-of-plane [110] Er results show the existence of a new magnetic exchange spring state, which would be very difficult to identify without the aid of element-specific technique of x-ray magnetic circular dichroism (XMCD).

Journal Keywords: Thin magnetic films; Magnetic exchange springs; Micromagnetics; Dipolar fields

Subject Areas: Materials, Physics

Instruments: I10-Beamline for Advanced Dichroism