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Layer selective determination of magnetization vector configurations in an epitaxial double spin valve structure: Si(001)/Cu/Co/Cu/FeNi/Cu/Co/Cu

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6 Author(s)
Choi, B.C. ; Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HE, United Kingdom ; Samad, A. ; Vaz, C.A.F. ; Bland, J.A.C.
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The magnetization vector configurations in an epitaxial Si(001)/Cu/Co/Cu/Fe20Ni80/Cu/Co/Cu double spin valve structure have been investigated at room temperature using polarized neutron reflectivity measurements. The layer-averaged magnetic moment per FeNi atom was found to be 0.99±0.06 μB at saturation, while the top (bottom) Co layer moment was 1.69±0.09 μB (1.67±0.08 μB), which are identical to the bulk values within experimental error. Furthermore, the Co magnetization vectors are found to lie in-plane but canted with respect to the applied field direction for an applied field strength smaller than the coercive fields (∼80 and 130 Oe) of the Co layers. This result indicates that a complete antiparallel alignment of the layer magnetizations is not reached causing a corresponding reduction in the giant magnetoresistance (GMR). These observations emphasize the importance of the detailed spin configuration in determining the GMR amplitude at low fields. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.

Published in:

Applied Physics Letters  (Volume:77 ,  Issue: 6 )

Date of Publication:

Aug 2000

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