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Element specific spin and orbital moments of nanoscale CoFeB amorphous thin films on GaAs(100)

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JournalRSC Advances
DateAccepted/In press - 6 Sep 2016
DatePublished (current) - 13 Sep 2016
Issue number9
Original languageEnglish


CoFeB amorphous films have been synthesized on GaAs(100) and studied with X-ray magnetic circular dichroism (XMCD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). We have found that the ratios of the orbital to spin magnetic moments of both the Co and Fe in the ultrathin amorphous film have been enhanced by more than 300% compared with those of the bulk crystalline Co and Fe, and specifically a large orbital moment of 0.56 μB from the Co atoms has been observed and at the same time the spin moment of the Co atoms remains comparable to that of the bulk hcp Co. The results indicate that the large uniaxial magnetic anisotropy (UMA) observed in the ultrathin CoFeB film on GaAs(100) is related to the enhanced spin-orbital coupling of the Co atoms in the CoFeB. This work offers experimental evidences of the correlation between the UMA and the element specific spin and orbital moments in the CoFeB amorphous film on the GaAs(100) substrate, which is of significance for spintronics applications.

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© The Author(s), 2016

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