Europhys. Lett.
Volume 71, Number 2, July 2005
Page(s) 297 - 303
Section Condensed matter: electronic structure, electrical, magnetic, and optical properties
Published online 17 June 2005
Europhys. Lett., 71 (2), pp. 297-303 (2005)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2005-10078-2

Lateral length scales in exchange bias

I. V. Roshchin1, O. Petracic1, 2, R. Morales1, 3, Z.-P. Li1, X. Batlle1, 4 and I. K. Schuller1

1  Physics Department, University of California, San Diego La Jolla, CA 92093-0319, USA
2  Angewandte Physik, Universität Duisburg-Essen - 47048 Duisburg, Germany
3  Departamento de Física, Universidad de Oviedo - 33007 Oviedo, Spain
4  Departament de Física Fonamental, Universitat de Barcelona 08028 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

received 1 April 2005; accepted 20 May 2005
published online 17 June 2005

When a ferromagnet is in proximity to an antiferromagnet, lateral length scales such as the respective magnetic domain sizes drastically affect the exchange bias. Bilayers of $\chem{FeF_2}$ and either $\chem{Ni}$, $\chem{Co}$ or $\chem{Fe}$ are studied using SQUID and spatially resolved MOKE. When the antiferromagnetic domains are larger than or comparable to the ferromagnetic domains, a local, non-averaging exchange bias is observed. This gives rise to unusual and tunable magnetic hysteresis curves.

75.70.-i - Magnetic properties of thin films, surfaces, and interfaces.
75.60.-d - Domain effects, magnetization curves, and hysteresis.
75.25.+z - Spin arrangements in magnetically ordered materials (including neutron and spin-polarized electron studies, synchrotron-source X-ray scattering, etc.).

© EDP Sciences 2005