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Ferromagnetism at the interfaces of antiferromagnetic FeRh epilayers.

Fan, R. and Kinane, C.J. and Charlton, T.R. and Dorner, R. and Ali, M. and de Vries, M.A. and Brydson, R.M.D. and Marrows, C.H. and Hickey, B.J. and Arena, D.A. and Tanner, B.K. and Nisbet, G. and Langridge, S. (2010) 'Ferromagnetism at the interfaces of antiferromagnetic FeRh epilayers.', Physical review B., 82 (18). p. 184418.


The nanoscale magnetic structure of FeRh epilayers has been studied by polarized neutron reflectometry. Epitaxial films with a nominal thickness of 500 Å were grown on MgO (001) substrates via molecular-beam epitaxy and capped with 20 Å of MgO. The FeRh films show a clear transition from the antiferromagnetic (AF) state to the ferromagnetic (FM) state with increasing temperature. Surprisingly the films possess a FM moment even at a temperature 80 K below the AF-FM transition temperature of the film. We have quantified the magnitude and spatial extent of this FM moment, which is confined to within ∼60–80 Å of the FeRh near the top and bottom interfaces. These interfacial FM layers account for the unusual effects previously observed in films with thickness <100 Å. Given the delicate energy balance between the AF and FM ground states we suggest a metastable FM state resides near to the interface within an AF matrix. The length scale over which the FM region resides is consistent with the strained regions of the film.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Thin-films, Metal-alloys, Multilayers, Transition, Pressure, RH
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Publisher statement:© 2010 The American Physical Society
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:27 November 2012
Date of first online publication:November 2010
Date first made open access:No date available

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