Continuous evolution of the in-plane magnetic anisotropies with thickness in epitaxial Fe films
Journal of Applied Physics
American Institute of Physics
We have studied the evolution of the magnetic in‐plane anisotropy in epitaxial Fe/GaAs films of both (001) and (110) orientation as a function of the Fe layer thickness using the longitudinal magneto‐optic Kerr effect and Brillouin light scattering. Magnetization curves which are recorded in situ during film growth reveal a continuous change of the net anisotropy axes with increasing film thickness. This behavior can be understood to arise from the combination of a uniaxial and a cubic in‐plane magnetic anisotropy which are both thickness dependent. Structural analysis of the substrate and Fe film surfaces provides insight into the contribution of atomic steps at the interfaces to the magnetic anisotropy. Changing the degree of crystalline order at the Fe–GaAs interface allows us to conclude that the magnetic anisotropies are determined by atomic scale order.
Copyright © 1996 American Institute of Physics.
Vol. 80 (1), pp. 347 - 355