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The coupling between hard FePt and soft NiFe layers through a Cu interlayer has been studied in L10 (111) FePt(20)/CoFe(1.5)/Cu(3.5 or 4.5)/CoFe(2)/NiFe(3) (in nanometers) pseudo spin valves. The soft-layer hysteresis loops exhibit clear shifts in the field axis (exchange-bias-like) and a marked coercivity enhancement. It is found that several parameters such as the thickness of the Cu layer or the interface roughness influence the exchange bias properties of the systems, while others (e.g., temperature) are less important. This interlayer coupling arises from the competition between dipolar and Ruderman-Kittel-Kasuya-Yoshida (RKKY) interactions between the layers.
Date of Publication: Oct. 2009