Magnetic leverage effects in amorphous SmCo/CoAlZr heterostructures

R. A. Procter, F. Magnus, Gabriella Andersson, C. Sánchez-Hanke, B. Hjörvarsson, T. P.A. Hase

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Although magnetic heterostructures are the basis of many magnetic technologies, the mechanisms involved in magnetization reversals in such structures are not fully understood, especially in amorphous multilayers. Here, we report on the SmCo/CoAlZr system and exploit resonant magnetic X-ray scattering to probe the element specific magnetization reversals. When combined into a tri-layer structure, two different switching fields and reversal mechanisms are observed for the Sm and Co sub-lattices. We argue that the decoupling of the sub-lattices arises from the local distribution of atomic species within the amorphous matrix leading to a strong magnetic leverage effect and exchange pinning. The decoupling arises due to strong interactions between regions of high Co density which span the interface. The relatively sparse interactions between Sm and Co induce a localized pinning of the Co-rich areas, resulting in an exchange bias in minor loops and an enhanced coercivity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number062403
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2015

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