Materials Research Science and Engineering Center


Date of this Version

July 2003


Published in Physical Review Letters 91, 037207 (2003).
Copyright 2003 American Physical Society. Used by permission.


Interlayer exchange coupling that oscillates between antiferromagnetic and ferromagnetic as a function of NiO thickness has been observed in [Pt(5 Å)/Co(4 Å)]3/NiO(tNiO Å)/[Co(4 Å)/Pt(5 Å)]3 multilayers with out-of-plane anisotropy. The period of oscillation corresponds to ~2 monolayers of NiO. This oscillatory behavior is possibly attributed to the antiferromagnetic ordering in NiO. The antiferromagnetic interlayer exchange coupling for the 11 Å NiO layer shows an increase in coupling strength with increasing temperature, in agreement with the quantum interference model of Bruno for insulating spacer layers. A coexistence of exchange biasing and antiferromagnetic interlayer exchange coupling has been observed below T = 250 K.