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Direct imaging of asymmetric magnetization reversal in exchange-biased Fe/MnPd bilayers by x-ray photoemission electron microscopy

Direct imaging of asymmetric magnetization reversal in exchange-biased Fe/MnPd bilayers by x-ray photoemission electron microscopy

Physical Review Letters 94(10): 107203

X-ray photoemission electron microscopy is used to probe the remnant magnetic domain structure in high quality, single-crystalline, exchange-biased Fe/MnPd bilayers. It is found that the induced unidirectional anisotropy strongly affects the overall magnetic domain structure. Real space images of the ferromagnetic domains provide direct evidence for an asymmetric magnetization reversal process after saturation along the ferromagnetic hard direction. The magnetization reversal occurs by moment rotation for decreasing fields while it proceeds by domain nucleation and growth for increasing fields. The observed domains are consistent with the crystallography of the bilayers and favor a configuration that minimizes the overall magnetostatic energy of the ferromagnetic layer.

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Accession: 048799346

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PMID: 15783516

DOI: 10.1103/physrevlett.94.107203

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