The effects of a chemical alteration of the antiferromagnet surface in the exchange-biased ultrathin epitaxial antiferromagnetic/ferromagnetic bilayer Mn/Co/Cu(001) have been investigated. The formation of a nanometer-thick paramagnetic oxide at the surface of the Mn layer was induced through the controlled exposure to oxygen. Although the buried Mn/Co interface was not affected by the oxidation, strong changes of the exchange-bias properties of the system, which cannot be accounted for by the mere reduction of the antiferromagnetic Mn thickness, were observed. We propose that the produced surface modification affects the magnetic configuration of the near-surface region and the domain structure in the whole antiferromagnet layer which, in turn, influences the pinned uncompensated spin density responsible for the exchange bias.
|Journal||Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics|
|Publication status||Published - 2015 Mar 31|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics