Anisotropy and interface structure in magnetic multilayers
It is believed that the interfacial structure can significantly affect the magnetic properties of magnetic multilayer thin films. X-ray scattering techniques provide a powerful method with which to study the bulk and interface morphology in these systems, and are therefore crucial in developing an understanding of the dominant factors influencing the magnitude of the perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (PMA).The inter-relation between magnetic and structural properties of a series of magnetic multilayer thin films is investigated. Magnetometry measurements on a series of Fe/Au multilayers showed that some samples exhibited in-plane magnetization. X-ray data and simulations showed that the interface roughness was high in these samples. However, the formation and propagation of uncorrelated roughness followed a systematic trend for surface growth. On the other hand, x-ray data and simulations for a single 100-bilayer sample showed that the interfaces are much better defined with significantly lower roughness. This was the only sample to show perpendicular anisotropy supposing the suggestion that the absence of PMA in all other samples is associated with high interface roughness. Magnetometry measurements of the PMA in Co/Pt multilayers show an increase in effective anisotropy at about 15 bilayers. X-ray data showed that the roughness of the interfaces was correlated in all samples and that the interfaces were sharp with no detectable interdiffusion. No systematic trend in roughness or crystallographic texture is detected with increasing bilayer repeat X-ray measurements on four series of Co/Pd multilayers show interface roughness independent of bilayer repeat number. For Co/Pt, the in-plane correlation length was independent of bilayer number while for Co/Pd and Fe/Au it increased. A saturation of the in-plane correlation length for the Au/Fe system where island growth of the Au occurs was observed. The out-of-plane correlation length increased with bilayer repeat for Co/Pt and Co/Pd. The interfaces in samples with higher PMA had a fractal parameter close to unity.