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Structural and magnetic properties of diode radio‐frequency sputtered Cr/Co multilayers

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6 Author(s)
Boher, P. ; Laboratoires d’Electronique Philips (LEP), 22 Avenue Descartes, BP15, 94453 Limeil‐Brevannes Cedex, France ; Giron, F. ; Houdy, Ph. ; Beauvillain, P.
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Structural properties of diode radio‐frequency (rf)‐sputtered Cr/Co multilayers have been investigated using in situ kinetic ellipsometry, grazing x‐ray reflection, x‐ray diffraction, and nuclear magnetic resonance. Results have been correlated with magnetic characterizations obtained by SQUID susceptometry. Interdiffusion along ≂10 Å occurs at the ‘‘Cr on Co’’ interface. The Co on Cr interface appears sharper. X‐ray diffraction and nuclear magnetic resonance show that Co layers grow with bcc structure when the Co layer thickness dCo is lower than ≂15 Å. In this case, the films are strongly textured with the Cr bcc (100) direction perpendicular to the plane of the substrate. A better structural coherence is observed for the thinner layers. When dCo is thicker than ≂15 Å, a mixture of hcp and fcc Co phases appears by x‐ray diffraction and nuclear magnetic resonance. The good structural quality of the films is confirmed by the occurrence of satellite peaks in the x‐ray diffraction patterns. The Co magnetic moment extracted from the hysteresis loops measurements is coherent with these changes of the cobalt structure with layer thickness. In plane magnetization measurements show a antiferromagnetic coupling of the Co layers through the Cr layers.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:70 ,  Issue: 10 )