Role of heterostructures and multiple magnetic phases in the low-field magnetization of Fe-Cr GMR multilayers

Research paper by R. S. Patel, A. K. Majumdar, A. K. Nigam, D. Temple, C. Pace

Indexed on: 12 Apr '05Published on: 12 Apr '05Published in: Physics - Other


Zero-field-cooled (ZFC) and field-cooled (FC) magnetization along with ac-magnetization vs. temperature and m-h loop measurements are reported for two series of ion-beam sputtered Fe-Cr GMR multilayers where the interface roughness is different. The exchange coupling between the Fe layers varies from ferromagnetic (FC) to antiferromagnetic (AF) depending upon the Cr layer thickness. The ZFC and FC magnetization data follow different curves below an irreversible temperature ($T_{irr}$). The FC data shows a $T^{3/2}$ thermal demagnetization behavior at lower temperatures with very small spin-wave stiffness constant (as compared with that of bulk Fe obtained from Bloch's $T^{3/2}$ law) but it goes as 1/T at higher temperatures (above ($T_{irr}$)). This behavior is interpreted in terms of the coexistence of spin-glass (SG)/superparamagnetic, FM and AF phases. ac-magnetization vs. temperature shows a peak at $T_g$. This peak shifts towards higher temperatures and its amplitude decreases with increasing frequency of the driving ac field.