Theoretical prediction and experimental evidence of a novel oscillatory behaviour of interlayer magnetic coupling
Institut d'Electronique Fondamentale, CNRS URA 22,
Bât. 220, Université Paris-Sud, F-91405 Orsay, France
Accepted: 14 December 1995
The interlayer magnetic coupling between ferromagnetic layers separated by a non-magnetic spacer layer is investigated with emphasis on the role of the non-magnetic overlayer. By using a recently proposed theory of interlayer coupling, which expresses the coupling in terms of quantum interferences due to electron confinement, it is predicted that the coupling oscillates vs. overlayer thickness, with a period related to the Fermi surface of the latter. This prediction has been confirmed experimentally on Au/Co/Au/Co/Au(111) films, with an oscillation period vs. Au overlayer thickness of 5 atomic layers, in good agreement with the predicted value (4.8 atomic layers).
PACS: 75.50.Rr – Magnetism in interface structures (including layer and superlattice structures) / 75.30.Et – Exchange and superexchange interactions / 75.70.Fr – Magnetic ordering in multilayers
© EDP Sciences, 1996