Volume 83, Number 1, July 2008
Article Number 17006
Number of page(s) 5
Section Condensed Matter: Electronic Structure, Electrical, Magnetic and Optical Properties
Published online 13 June 2008
EPL, 83 (2008) 17006
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/83/17006

Thickness-dependent reorientation of the magnetization of Fe monolayers on InP(001)

Kh. Zakeri, J. Lindner and M. Farle

Fachbereich Physik and Center for Nanointegration (CeNIDE), Universität Duisburg-Essen - Lotharstr. 1, 47048 Duisburg, Germany, EU

received 19 October 2007; accepted in final form 15 May 2008; published July 2008
published online 13 June 2008

Fe films were grown by molecular beam epitaxy on {2 $\times$ 4}InP(001) at room temperature in the thickness range of 5$\hbox{--} $21 monolayer equivalent (ML). The magnetic anisotropy and magnetization were studied using in situ ferromagnetic resonance and in situ SQUID magnetometry, respectively. For the whole thickness range the magnetization was found to favor an in-plane alignment. The easy axis of magnetization is parallel to the [$1\bar{1}0$] -direction below 7 ML, which rotates by 45$^{\circ}$ towards the [100]-direction for thicker Fe layers. The magnetic anisotropy energy of the system has been quantitatively determined as a function of film thickness. The perpendicular magnetic anisotropy is strongly thickness dependent with a large surface-interface contribution which is comparable to that of Fe grown on GaAs. The cubic anisotropy K4 $\approx$ 1$\times$ 104 J/m3, however, is small compared to that of bulk Fe over the whole thickness regime and almost thickness independent. The in-plane uniaxial anisotropy is strongly thickness dependent and originates at the Fe/InP interface.

75.50.Bb - Fe and its alloys.
76.50.+g - Ferromagnetic, antiferromagnetic, and ferrimagnetic resonances; spin-wave resonance.
75.70.Ak - Magnetic properties of monolayers and thin films.

© EPLA 2008