Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy


Date of this Version

December 1990


Published by American Physical Society. Phys. Rev. B 42, 10446 (1990). Copyright © 1990 American Physical Society. Permission to use.


Systematic studies of rare-earth–transition-metal amorphous compositionally modulated films (CMF) permit the development of a detailed model for understanding the magnetization and perpendicular magnetic anisotropy and their distributions along the film normal. It is shown that the single-ion anisotropy of rare-earth ions with orbital angular momentum is the major contributor to the perpendicular anisotropy for this class of CMF. The calculated results agree well with the experimental data for Dy/Co and Tb/Fe CMF when the individual layer thicknesses are small enough (<10 Å); these films have structures which can be characterized as compositionally modulated amorphous alloys.

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