Interfacial spin effects on H-ex in metallic polycrystalline exchange biased systems

L. E. Fernandez-Outon, G. Vallejo-Fernandez, K. O'Grady

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In this work, we show how the magnitude of the annealing field affects the antiferromagnetic (AF) spin structure in an exchange biased trilayer with two ferromagnetic layers with different thicknesses pinned by a single AF layer. The value of H-ex is moderated by the interfacial spin structure, while the mean blocking temperature remains constant. We find a 24% increase in H-ex when the setting field (H-set) used in the field cooling procedure is increased from 0.25 to 20 kOe, while all other setting conditions are kept constant. We show that the reversal of the order in the AF gives the same mean blocking temperature, 442 +/- 2 K, while the maximum value of H-ex increases with H-set from 220 to 286 Oe. The superposition of the variation of H-ex with the degree of order of the AF reveals the dependence of the blocking temperature T-B on the bulk of the AF, while the magnitude of the exchange field is shown to be dependent not only on the order in the AF but also on the degree of alignment of the interfacial spins determined by H-set. A further confirmation that this is an interfacial effect comes from an observation that similar behavior occurs at both AF interfaces in our trilayer system. (c) 2008 American Institute of Physics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number07C106
Pages (from-to)-
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2008

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