Co80Ir20 films with negative uniaxial magnetocrystalline anisotropy (Ku) are investigated with respect to the regularity of the stacking sequence and atomic site arrangement. Substrate heating at 600 °C enhances the negative Ku of Co 80Ir20 to -9.6 × 106 erg/cm3. X-ray diffraction analysis and scanning transmission electron microscopy of the Co80Ir20 film fabricated at 600 °C indicate (1) a near perfect hexagonal-close-packed (hcp) stacking structure and (2) an atomic layered structure that consists of randomly sequenced Ir-rich and Ir-poor layers. These hcp and composition-modulated atomic layer stacking structures are considered to be the reason for the enhancement of the negative Ku.
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