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Exponentially decaying magnetic coupling in sputtered thin film FeNi/Cu/FeCo trilayers

Journal article
Authors Y. J. Wei
S. Akansel
T. Thersleff
I. Harward
R. Brucas
Mojtaba Ranjbar
S. Jana
P. Lansaker
Yevgen Pogoryelov
Randy K. Dumas
K. Leifer
O. Karis
Johan Åkerman
Z. Celinski
P. Svedlindh
Published in Applied Physics Letters
Volume 106
Issue 4
ISSN 0003-6951
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Physics (GU)
Language en
Subject categories Physical Sciences


Magnetic coupling in trilayer films of FeNi/Cu/FeCo deposited on Si/SiO2 substrates have been studied. While the thicknesses of the FeNi and FeCo layers were kept constant at 100 angstrom, the thickness of the Cu spacer was varied from 5 to 50 angstrom. Both hysteresis loop and ferromagnetic resonance results indicate that all films are ferromagnetically coupled. Micromagnetic simulations well reproduce the ferromagnetic resonance mode positions measured by experiments, enabling the extraction of the coupling constants. Films with a thin Cu spacer are found to be strongly coupled, with an effective coupling constant of 3 erg/cm(2) for the sample with a 5 angstrom Cu spacer. The strong coupling strength is qualitatively understood within the framework of a combined effect of Ruderman-Kittel-Kasuya-Yosida and pinhole coupling, which is evidenced by transmission electron microscopy analysis. The magnetic coupling constant surprisingly decreases exponentially with increasing Cu spacer thickness, without showing an oscillatory thickness dependence. This is partially connected to the substantial interfacial roughness that washes away the oscillation. The results have implications on the design of multilayers for spintronic applications. (C) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC.

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