Proximity effects and exchange bias in Co/MnF2(111) heterostructures studied by x-ray magnetic circular dichroism

S. M. Suturin, V. V. Fedorov, A. G. Banshchikov, D. A. Baranov, K. V. Koshmak, P. Torelli, J. Fujii, G. Panaccione, K. Amemiya, M. Sakamaki, T. Nakamura, M. Tabuchi, L. Pasquali, N. S. Sokolov

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Cobalt nano-structured ultrathin films were grown on orthorhombic MnF2 by molecular beam epitaxy on CaF2 epitaxial layers deposited on Si(111) substrates. The Co film was grown at room temperature. It was found to be polycrystalline, forming nano-islands with height≈diameter≤10 nm. X-ray absorption evidences the chemical stability of the Co/MnF2 interface. Remarkably, x-ray magnetic circular dichroism (XMCD) demonstrates that the Co induces a net magnetization on the Mn ions close to the interface. The magnetic moments of these Mn ions couple antiparallel to the Co and rotate upon field reversal following the magnetization of the Co both below and high above the Néel temperature of MnF2 (TN = 67 K). The density of coupled Mn moments is found to be temperature dependent, with an equivalent thickness of ∼1.5 MnF2 monolayers at 20 K, decreasing to about ∼0.5 ML as the temperature is raised to 300 K. Interestingly, the intensity of the Mn XMCD signal appears to be related to the coercivity of the Co layer. This behavior is interpreted in terms of the competition between thermal fluctuations, exchange coupling between Co and Mn at the interface and, at low temperature, the antiferromagnetic order in MnF2.

Original languageEnglish
Article number046002
JournalJournal of Physics Condensed Matter
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jan 30


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