Anomalous magnetic anisotropy in ultrathin transition metals

Brad N. Engel, Michael H. Wiedmann, Robert A. Van Leeuwen, Charles M. Falco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


We have used in situ polar Kerr effect measurements to probe directly the magnetic anisotropy of ultrathin MBE-grown Co films with and without overlayers of various nonmagnetic metals (X=Ag, Cu, Pd). To investigate the Co/X interface, we measured perpendicular hysteresis curves as a function of overlayer coverage. We find the magnitude of the perpendicular anisotropy is strongly peaked near ∼1 atomic layer (1.5-2) coverage for Ag and Cu overlayers. For Cu, the overlayer with the strongest effect, the total anisotropy energy rapidly decreases by a factor of 3 from its peak value after a total coverage of only ∼2 atomic layers (4) of Cu.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9894-9897
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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