Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy


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Published in PHYSICAL REVIEW B 82, 134425 (2010); DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.82.134425 Copyright © 2010 The American Physical Society. Used by permission.


Magnetization relaxation is investigated in a structurally ordered magnetic Co/Cr superlattice. Tailored nanoscale periodicity creates mesoscopic spatial magnetic correlations with slow relaxation dynamics when quenching the system into a nonequilibrium state. Magnetization transients are measured after exposing the heterostructure to a magnetic set field for various waiting times. Scaling analysis reveals an asymptotic powerlaw behavior in accordance with a full aging scenario. The temperature dependence of the relaxation exponent shows pronounced anomalies at the equilibrium phase transitions of the antiferromagnetic superstructure and the ferromagnetic to paramagnetic transition of the Co layers. The latter leaves only weak fingerprints in the equilibrium magnetic behavior but gives rise to a prominent change in nonequilibrium properties. Our findings suggest scaling analysis of nonequilibrium data as a probe for weak equilibrium phase transitions.

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