Europhys. Lett.
Volume 66, Number 5, June 2004
Page(s) 736 - 742
Section Condensed matter: electronic structure, electrical, magnetic, and optical properties
Published online 01 May 2004
Europhys. Lett., 66 (5) , pp. 736-742 (2004)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2003-10248-2

Magnetic interlayer coupling across semiconducting $\chem{EuS}$ layers

U. Rücker1, S. O. Demokritov2, J. Nassar3 and P. Grünberg1

1  Institut für Festkörperforschung, Forschungszentrum Jülich 52425 Jülich, Germany
2  Fachbereich Physik, Technische Universität Kaiserslautern Erwin-Schrödinger-Straße, 67653 Kaiserslautern, Germany
3  UMR CNRS-Thomson CSF - 91404 Orsay, France

(Received 20 November 2003; accepted in final form 26 March 2004)

Ferromagnetic interlayer coupling through a semiconducting spacer has been studied in epitaxial layered structures $\chem{Fe/EuS/Fe(001)}$. The coupling strength has been determined as a function of temperature and interlayer thickness using magneto-optical Kerr effect magnetometry. A strong rise of the coupling strength with increasing temperature has been observed in the temperature range, where $\chem{EuS}$ is paramagnetic. The observations match the theoretical description of interlayer exchange coupling between two metallic layers mediated by the electronic states in a semiconductor. Near the Curie temperature of $\chem{EuS}$, long-range ferromagnetic coupling is observed, that is related to ferromagnetic order inside the $\chem{EuS}$ layer.

75.70.Ak - Magnetic properties of monolayers and thin films.
73.40.Sx - Metal-semiconductor-metal structures.
75.70.Cn - Magnetic properties of interfaces (multilayers, superlattices, heterostructures).

© EDP Sciences 2004