In this study, Fe/Mn/Co trilayers were grown on Cu(100) to investigate the combination of exchange-bias coupling and long-range interlayer coupling. The crystalline structures of fct-Co and fct-Mn were confirmed by low energy electron diffraction (LEED) and I/V-LEED. The magnetic hysteresis loops were measured by magneto-optical Kerr effect as a function of Fe and Mn thickness. When the fct-Mn was increased to 24 ML, the Co and Fe layers underwent incoherent two-step magnetization switching with a special feature. The interlayer coupling preferred coherent rotation of Fe and Co, but the exchange bias coupling of Mn/Co increased the coercivity of the Co layer, prohibiting rotation simultaneous with the Fe layer. As a result, during the Fe flipping, the Co layer first rotated in accordance with the Fe layer and then turned back to the initial orientation. Our simulation also demonstrated a similar phenomenon when the exchange bias coupling and interlayer coupling were of comparable magnitude.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)