Element-specific spin and orbital moments and perpendicular magnetic anisotropy in Ta/CoFeB/MgO structures

Yu Yan, Xianyang Lu, Bo Liu, Xiaoqian Zhang, Xiangyu Zheng, Hao Meng, Wenqing Liu, Junlin Wang, Iain G. Will, Jing Wu, Ping Kwan Johnny Wong, Jianwang Cai, Jun Du, Rong Zhang, Yongbing Xu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (PMA) in the Ta/CoFeB/MgO system has been studied using x-ray magnetic circular dichroism and vibrating sample magnetometry. The ratios of the orbital to spin magnetic moments of Co atoms in the Ta/CoFeB/MgO structures with PMA have been found to be enhanced by 100%, compared with the Ta/CoFeB/Ta structure without PMA. The orbital moments of Co are as large as 0.30 μ B, more than half of their spin moments in the perpendicularly magnetized Ta/CoFeB/MgO structures. The results indicate that the PMA observed in the CoFeB/MgO structures is related to the increased spin-orbital coupling of the Co atoms. This work offers experimental evidence of the correlation between PMA and the element-specific spin and orbital moments in the Ta/CoFeB/MgO systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number063903
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2020

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