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The magnetic and magneto-optical properties of TbFeCo/(Pt, Pd) multilayer films prepared by sputter deposition are discussed in conjunction with their multilayer structure. The effect of polarized Pt on the polar Kerr spectra is significant at ultraviolet photon energies (∼5 eV). Based on the magnetic and magneto-optical properties, it is quite reasonable to surmise that an alloy is formed at the interface in real multilayers. It is the most obvious evidence that the saturation magnetization drastically increases with Pt and Pd thickness up to 12 Å, which indicates that the interfacial regions are essentially due to Fe–Pt and Fe–Pd alloys. This possibility was supported by the simulation of Kerr spectrum for the proposed model based on the layered-structural analyses. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.