Microstructure of antiferromagnetic layer affecting on magnetic exchange coupling in trilayered Ni-Fe/25 at% Ni-Mn/Ni-Fe films

M. Tsunoda, Y. Tsuchiya, M. Konoto, Migaku Takahashi

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41 Citations (Scopus)


The correlation between the microstructure of antiferromagnetic (AF) Ni-Mn layer and exchange coupling performed at the ferromagnetic (F)/AF layer interface was discussed in the trilayered Si(100)/Ni-Fe/25 at% Ni-Mn/Ni-Fe films with various thickness combinations fabricated by a facing-targets sputtering method. Unidirectional anisotropy constant, Jk performed at the lower F/AF interface became large with increasing underlaid F layer thickness JF up to 200 A and showed constant value about 0.06-0.07 erg/cm2 beyond it when the AF layer thickness (dAF) > 200 Å. On the other hand, Jk at the upper interface rose to peak with increasing dAF at 100-200 Å and then fell down to zero at 1000 Å in contrast to the Jk at the lower interface. Following the field cooling study of trilayered films in a wide temperature range (10-473 K), it was concluded that the blocking temperature of γ-Ni-Mn grains at the lower interface were distributed more widely down to the cryogenic temperature when dF = 50 A in comparison with dF = 200 A. This difference was supposed to be caused by the difference of the in-plane diameter of γ-Ni-Mn grains epitaxially grown on the underlaid Ni-Fe grains growing with increasing dF, The cross-sectional TEM observation for the trilayer with dAF = 1000 Å made it clear that the crystal structure of Ni-Mn layer had separated from γ-Ni-Mn phase into α-Mn + θ-NiMn phase with increasing dAF, and resulted in the vanishing of Jk at the upper interface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-44
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1997 Jul


  • Blocking temperature
  • Exchange coupling
  • Microstructure
  • Unidirectional anisotropy
  • γ-Ni-Mn

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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