Volume 48, Number 5, December 1999
|Page(s)||573 - 579|
|Section||Condensed matter: electronic structure, electrical, magnetic and optical properties|
|Published online||01 September 2002|
Exchange bias model for Fe/FeF2: Role of domains in the ferromagnet
Facultad de Física, Pontificia Universidad Católica - Casilla 306, Santiago 22, Chile
Accepted: 6 October 1999
Exchange bias (EB) is a shift of the hysteresis loop from its normal position, symmetric around , to . It occurs when thin ferromagnetic (F) films are deposited on a variety of antiferromagnetic (AF) materials. EB is also associated with several additional remarkable features: i) the bulk magnetizations of the F is orthogonal to the AF easy axis; ii) HE is of similar magnitude for compensated and uncompensated AF interface layers; iii) the sign of HE can assume both positive and negative values; and, iv) the magnetization , where Hc is the coercive field. Here we propose a model that describes the EB phenomenon for a compensated interface. Based on the experimental evidence, and extensive computer simulations, we suggest that close to the Néel temperature a canted spin configuration in the AF interface freezes into a metastable state. As a consequence, the EB energy is reversibly stored in a spring-like magnet, or incomplete domain wall (IDW), in the F slab. The results we extract from our model, both analytically and through simulations, are qualitatively and quantitatively compatible with the available experimental information.
PACS: 75.70.-i – Magnetic films and multilayers / 75.70.Cn – Interfacial magnetic properties (multilayers, magnetic quantum wells, superlattices, magnetic heterostructures) / 75.60.Ej – Magnetization curves, hysteresis, Barkhausen and related effects
© EDP Sciences, 1999
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