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Magnetic surface anisotropy of transition metal ultrathin films

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Abstract

In order to study the magnetic anisotropy of transition metal ultrathin films, we have performed tight-binding calculations including spin-orbit coupling. Beside the anisotropy energy these calculations also yield the orbital moment, which turns out to be much more anisotropic than in bulk materials. The effects of interfacial mismatch and roughness are discussed within phenomenological models. We also briefly review experimental results on the magnetic surface anisotropy (MSA) in transition metal ultrathin films. In some cases such as Au/Co/Au(111) sandwiches the MSA wins the competition with the shape anisotropy arising from the magnetostatic energy: below a critical thickness this leads to aperpendicular spontaneous magnetization. We show the effects of this crossover on the hysteresis loops and on the magnetoresistance, and the effects of interface roughness on the critical thickness.

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Bruno, P., Renard, J.-. Magnetic surface anisotropy of transition metal ultrathin films. Appl. Phys. A 49, 499–506 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00617016

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PACS

  • 75.30G
  • 75.30T
  • 75.70