Contribution of individual interfaces in the MgO/Co/Pd trilayer to perpendicular magnetic anisotropy upon annealing

Minseok Kim, Sanghoon Kim, Jungho Ko, Jongill Hong

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Abstract

The contribution of each interface of the MgO/Co/Pd trilayer to the perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (PMA) was studied by changing chemical and crystalline structures through annealing. We found that volumetric anisotropy in the MgO/Co/Pd trilayer was significantly increased due to enhanced magnetoelastic anisotropy caused by stress built up most likely at the MgO/Co interface during annealing. When the trilayer was annealed at 400 °C, the alloy formation at the Co/Pd interface additionally increased the volumetric anisotropy. Our x-ray magnetic circular dichroism study supported that those structural modifications led to an increase in the orbital moment through spin-orbit coupling (SOC) along the film normal two times larger than that of the as-deposited trilayer, thereby enhancing PMA greatly. Our experimental results prove that the Co/Pd interface, rather than the MgO/Co interface, plays an essential role in inducing strong PMA in the trilayer. The precise investigation of annealing effect on both volumetric and interfacial anisotropies can provide a methodological solution to improve the SOC of the trilayer that can serve as the core unit of spintronic devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102404
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Volume106
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Mar 9

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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