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Exchange coupling through spin density wave in Fe whisker/Cr/Fe(001) structures was studied by Brillouin light scattering (BLS) and longitudinal magneto-optical Kerr effect (MOKE) techniques. It will be shown that interface alloying at the Fe whisker/Cr interface profoundly affects the behavior of short wavelength oscillations. The first crossover to antiferromagnetic coupling occurs at 5 monolayers (ML), the phase of short-wavelength oscillations is reversed compared to that expected for the spin density wave in Cr(001), and the strength of coupling is significantly decreased from that obtained from first principle calculations. Using Cu and Ag atomic layers between the Cr(001) and Fe(001) films, heterogeneous interfaces showed that the exchange coupling in Cr(001) is strongly affected by electron multiple scattering. It appears that electron quantum well states in the Fe film play no important role in the strength of the exchange coupling when the Fe film is bounded on one side by Au, but they become important when the Fe film is bounded by Cr on both sides. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.