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

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  • 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


Publication details

JournalJournal of Applied Physics
DateAccepted/In press - 23 Jan 2020
DatePublished (current) - 10 Feb 2020
Issue number6
Original languageEnglish


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.

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