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Magnetic and structural properties of rf‐sputtered Co/Fe and Co/Cr multilayers

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9 Author(s)
Houdy, Ph. ; Laboratoires d’électronique Philips, 22 Avenue Descartes, 94453 Limeil‐Brévannes Cedex, France ; Boher, P. ; Giron, F. ; Pierre, F.
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Multilayers alternating cobalt with different spacers such as iron and chromium at nanometric scale have been deposited by rf diode sputtering. The structures have been characterized in situ by kinetic ellipsometry and ex situ by grazing x‐ray reflection, x‐ray diffraction, Auger profile analysis, and transmission electron microscopy. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and high‐field SQUID magnetometry have been used to determine the magnetic properties. In Co/Fe multilayers the structure strongly depends on the cobalt thickness tCo. For tCo below 2 nm, the cobalt layers exhibit a bcc crystalline structure, and the crystalline coherence extends over many periods. For tCo above 2 nm, for Co a mixed fcc‐hcp phase has been observed. In this case the crystalline coherence is destroyed from one iron layer to the other. The NMR frequency (198 MHz), and the magnetic moment (1.58 μB/atom) of bcc cobalt have been evaluated. A similar behavior is observed in Co/Cr multilayers, the bcc phase disappearing around tCo=1.5 nm. Moreover, interdiffusion is observed at the Cr‐on‐Co interface: The samples have zero magnetization up to tCo=0.7 nm. Preliminary experiments show some antiferromagnetic coupling between Co layers. ≪lz≫

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Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:69 ,  Issue: 8 )