Europhys. Lett.
Volume 75, Number 1, July 2006
Page(s) 119 - 125
Section Condensed matter: structural, mechanical and thermal properties
Published online 02 June 2006
Europhys. Lett., 75 (1), pp. 119-125 (2006)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2006-10089-5

Origin of the magnetic anisotropy in ferromagnetic layers deposited at oblique incidence

J. L. Bubendorff, S. Zabrocki, G. Garreau, S. Hajjar, R. Jaafar, D. Berling, A. Mehdaoui, C. Pirri and G. Gewinner

Laboratoire de Physique et de Spectroscopie Electronique, UMR 7014 4 rue des frères Lumière, F-68093 Mulhouse, France

received 14 February 2006; accepted in final form 11 May 2006
published online 2 June 2006

Ferromagnetic films evaporated at oblique incidence show invariably an uniaxial in-plane magnetic anisotropy component with easy axis perpendicular to the incidence plane. Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM) images reveal that oblique deposition results in rough films with highly anisotropic correlation functions of the surface profile. We show that simple shape anisotropy calculations using high-quality STM roughness data as input reproduce the measured anisotropies remarkably well and unambiguously relate them to the long-ranged dipolar interactions.

68.37.Ef - Scanning tunneling microscopy (including chemistry induced with STM).
75.30.Gw - Magnetic anisotropy.
68.35.Ct - Interface structure and roughness.

© EDP Sciences 2006