Growth, structural, and magnetic properties of high coercivity Co/Pt multilayers

D. Weller, L. Folks, M. Best, E. E. Fullerton, B. D. Terris, G. J. Kusinski, K. M. Krishnan, G. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Electron beam evaporated Co/Pt multilayers {[Co(tConm)/Pt(1 nm)]10, 0.2<tCo<2 nm} with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy and room temperature coercivities Hc = 2- 15 kOe are studied as a function of growth temperature TG. Hysteresis loops and magnetic force microscopy (MFM) indicate changes in the magnetization reversal mechanism along with a sharp increase in coercivity for TG≳230-250°C. Films grown at TG<230°C (TCo = 0.2-0.4 nm) show micrometer size magnetic domains and rectangular hysteresis indicating magnetization reversal dominated by rapid domain wall motion following nucleation at Hn~Hc. Films grown at TG>250°C show fine-grained MFM features on the sub-100-nm length scale indicating reversal dominated by localized switching of small clusters. High-resolution cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy (TEM) with elemental analysis shows columnar grains extending throughout the multilayer stack. Co depletion and structural defects at the grain boundaries provide a mechanism for exchange decoupling of adjacent grains, which may result in the high coercivities observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7525-7527
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number11 II
StatePublished - Jun 1 2001
Externally publishedYes
Event8th Joint Magnetism and Magnetic Materials-Intermag Conference - San Antonio, TX, United States
Duration: Jan 7 2001Jan 11 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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