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Surface morphology and magnetic anisotropy of Fe/MgO(001) films deposited at oblique incidence

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4 Author(s)
Zhan, Qing-Feng ; Laboratorium voor Vaste-Stoffysica en Magnetisme, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200 D, BE-3001 Leuven, Belgium ; Van Haesendonck, C. ; Vandezande, Stijn ; Temst, Kristiaan

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We studied surface morphology and magnetic properties of Fe/MgO(001) films deposited at an angle varying between 0° and 60° with respect to the surface normal and with azimuth along the Fe[010] or the Fe[110] direction. Due to shadowing, elongated grains appear on the film surface for deposition at sufficiently large angle. X-ray reflectivity reveals that, depending on the azimuthal direction, films become either rougher or smoother for oblique deposition. For deposition along Fe[010] the pronounced uniaxial magnetic anisotropy (UMA) results in the occurrence of “reversed” two-step and of three-step hysteresis loops. For deposition along Fe[110] the growth-induced UMA is much weaker, causing a small rotation of the easy axes.

Published in:

Applied Physics Letters  (Volume:94 ,  Issue: 4 )