Microscopic origin of large perpendicular magnetic anisotropy in an FeIr/MgO system

Shinji Miwa, Takayuki Nozaki, Masahito Tsujikawa, Motohiro Suzuki, Takuya Tsukahara, Takeshi Kawabe, Yoshinori Kotani, Kentaro Toyoki, Minori Goto, Tetsuya Nakamura, Masafumi Shirai, Shinji Yuasa, Yoshishige Suzuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The FeIr/MgO multilayer system was found to exhibit large interfacial perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (PMA) and voltage-controlled magnetic anisotropy effects. We herein report the x-ray magnetic circular dichroism spectroscopy of both the Fe and Ir absorption edges in the FeIr/MgO system. Although Ir insertion at the Fe/MgO interface increased the PMA energy in the system, the orbital magnetic-moment anisotropy of Fe remained approximately constant. We found significant anisotropy in the orbital magnetic moment but not in the magnetic-dipole Tz term in the Ir atoms. Our experimental and theoretical results demonstrated that the large PMA of FeIr/MgO originates from second-order perturbation of the spin-orbit interaction energy of Ir. Moreover, the energy mainly originates from the spin-conserved virtual excitation process terms from the majority-spin bands of the Ir atoms located in the second atomic layer from MgO.

Original languageEnglish
Article number184421
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2019 May 16

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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