Magnetic anisotropy of metal/Co/metal and metal/Co/insulator sandwiches

Michael H. Wiedmann, Brad N. Engel, Charles M. Falco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In situ polar Kerr-effect measurements have been used to study the magnetic anisotropy of MBE-grown Au(111)/Co/X and Pd(111)/Co/X sandwiches, where X is the nonmagnetic metal Ag, Au, Cu, and Pd or the insulator MgO. For the metals it was recently found that the magnitude of the Co/X perpendicular interface anisotropy is strongly peaked at ∼1 atomic layer (1.5-2.5 Å) coverage. To investigate structural influences on the anisotropy, reflection high-energy electron diffraction (RHEED) and low-energy electron diffraction (LEED) have been used to measure changes resulting from overlayer coverage. Analysis of digitized RHEED images captured every ∼1 Å during metal overlayer coverage shows no abrupt change of the in-plane lattice constant. The out-of-plane lattice spacing has also been investigated as a function of nonmagnetic metal coverage by measuring LEED I-V curves along the (0,0) rod. In the case of Cu, where the LEED behavior is nearly kinematic, no evidence was seen of any abrupt structural changes at ∼1 atomic layer coverage. These results suggest the observed peak in magnetic anisotropy is not structural in origin. To further study this phenomenon, the influence of an insulating overlayer, MgO, on the perpendicular magnetic properties has been measured.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6075-6077
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Magnetic anisotropy of metal/Co/metal and metal/Co/insulator sandwiches'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this