emiconductor Physics, Quantum Electronics & Optoelectronics, 5 (2), P. 212-216 (2002)

Semiconductor Physics, Quantum Electronics & Optoelectronics. 2002. V. 5, N 2. P. 212-216.

PACS: 75.70.Ak, 75.70.Cn, 78.20.Ls

Polar magneto-optical Kerr effect studies of interlayer exchange coupling
in Fe/Tb bilayers and Fe/Au/Tb trilayers

E.V. Shypil, A.M. Pogorilyy, Ye.O. Pogoryelov

Institute for Magnetism, NAS of Ukraine, 36-b Vernadsky blvrd., 03142 Kyiv, Ukraine

Abstract. Interlayer exchange coupling was studied. The investigations were carried out on bilayer (Fe/Tb) and trilayer (Fe/Au/Tb) ultrathin film structures. The films on silica substrate were prepared by electron-beam evaporation in an MBE system with a background pressure of (1 ·5) · 10-10 Torr and maintaining a pressure of (1 · 3) · 10-9 Torr during the film growth. To investigate these film structures polar magneto-optical Kerr effect was used. In bilayers the perpendicular magnetic anisotropy was observed. When a monolayer of Au was interposed at the interface, was observed to disappear. This is because of breaking the short-range interaction between Fe and Tb layers. Instead a long-range indirect exchange via nonmagnetic Au interlayer appears. The increase of Au interlayer thickness (3 · 35 Å) resulted in the oscillations of the Kerr angle. Analogous oscillations are distinctive to the RKKY model of interlayer exchange coupling.

Keywords: polar Kerr effect, exchange interaction, single interface, interfacial spacer, exchange coupling oscillations.

Paper received 14.03.02; revised manuscript received 29.05.02; accepted for publication 25.06.02.

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