Tuesday, June 18, 2013

1306.3642 (C J Aas et al.)

Exchange coupling and magnetic anisotropy at Fe/FePt interfaces    [PDF]

C J Aas, P J Hasnip, R Cuadrado, E M Plotnikova, L Szunyogh, L Udvardi, R W Chantrell
We perform fully relativistic first principles calculations of the exchange interactions and the magnetocrystalline anisotropy energy (MAE) in an Fe/FePt/Fe sandwich system in order to elucidate how the presence of Fe/FePt (soft/hard magnetic) interfaces impacts on the magnetic properties of Fe/FePt/Fe multilayers. Throughout our study we make comparisons between a geometrically unrelaxed system and a geometrically relaxed system. We observe that the Fe layer at the Fe/FePt interface plays a crucial role inasmuch its (isotropic) exchange coupling to the soft (Fe) phase of the system is substantially reduced. Moreover, this interfacial Fe layer has a substantial impact on the MAE of the system. We show that the MAE of the FePt slab, including the contribution from the Fe/FePt interface, is dominated by anisotropic inter-site exchange interactions. Our calculations indicate that the change in the MAE of the FePt slab with respect to the corresponding bulk value is negative, i.e., the presence of Fe/FePt interfaces appears to reduce the perpendicular MAE of the Fe/FePt/Fe system. However, for the relaxed system, this reduction is marginal. It is also shown that the relaxed system exhibits a reduced interfacial exchange. Using a simple linear chain model we demonstrate that the reduced exchange leads to a discontinuity in the magnetisation structure at the interface.
View original: http://arxiv.org/abs/1306.3642

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