Interlayer Coupling Between In-Plane And Out-of-Plane Magnetized Thin Films

Interlayer Coupling Between In-Plane And Out-of-Plane Magnetized Thin Films
Issue Date
The IEEE 7th International Symposium on Metallic Multilayers
Element specific magnetic hysteresis loops of CoFeB(1.8nm) / Ru(0.6~1.2nm) / [Co(0.2nm) / Ni(0.6nm)]x4 thin films were measured using XMCD. In this structure, the in-plane magnetized CoFeB film is interlayer coupled with the out-of-plane magnetized Co/Ni multilayer through the Ru spacer layer. By measuring the magnetic dichroism at the Fe and Ni L edge, we unambiguously separate the magnetic hysteresis loops of the CoFeB film (Fe L edge) and the Co/Ni multilayer (Ni L edge). When the external magnetic field is swept perpendicular to the film plane, the CoFeB magnetic hysteresis loops show an out-of-plane component which is interlayer coupled with the Co/Ni out-of-plane component. At tRu=0.6nm and tRu=1.2nm, the out-of-plane magnetic components of the CoFeB film and the Co/Ni multilayer are ferromagnetically coupled while at tRu=0.7~1.1nm, they are antiferromagnetically coupled (Fig. 1). The CoFeB also has an in-plane magnetic hysteresis with a small coercivity (Fig. 1). The CoFeB magnetic hysteresis loops with the external magnetic field swept ±3° from the out-of-plane direction (not shown in figure for brevity) was found to be the superposition of the in-plane and out-of-plane magnetic hysteresis loops. This shows that the CoFeB magnetization is slightly canted out-of-plane from the in-plane direction, and also proves that the CoFeB out-of-plane magnetic component is not a projection of the in-plane magnetic component. The well defined and identical coercive fields of the CoFeB and Co/Ni out-of-plane magnetic hysteresis loops indicate that the out-of-plane component of the CoFeB results from interlayer coupling with the Co/Ni multilayer and not from gradual rotation away from the magnetic easy axis with increasing magnetic field.
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