Europhys. Lett.
Volume 72, Number 5, December 2005
Page(s) 816 - 822
Section Condensed matter: electronic structure, electrical, magnetic, and optical properties
Published online 03 November 2005
Europhys. Lett., 72 (5), pp. 816-822 (2005)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2005-10309-6

Magnetic anisotropy of thin $\chem{Fe}$ films on $\chem{GaAs}$

M. Kosuth1, V. Popescu1, H. Ebert1 and G. Bayreuther2

1  Physikalische Chemie, Universität München - Butenandtstr. 5-13, D-81377 München, Germany
2  Institut für Experimentelle und Angewandte Physik, Universität Regensburg D-93040 Regensburg, Germany

received 24 May 2005; accepted in final form 4 October 2005
published online 3 November 2005

The magnetic anisotropy of thin $\chem{Fe}$ films on (001)-oriented GaAs has been investigated using the fully relativistic TB-KKR method of band structure calculation. In line with experimental findings an in-plane anisotropy has been found with the easy axis pointing along the [110]-direction. The theoretical results for the anisotropy energy $\Delta E$ are reproduced in a semi-quantitative way by the models of Bruno and van der Laan, respectively, which relate $\Delta E$ to the anisotropy of the spin-orbit-induced orbital magnetic moment.

75.30.Gw - Magnetic anisotropy.
75.70.-i - Magnetic properties of thin films, surfaces, and interfaces.
75.70.Cn - Magnetic properties of interfaces (multilayers, superlattices, heterostructures).

© EDP Sciences 2005