Evidence of domain wall scattering in thin films of granular CoFe-AgCu
Departamento de Física Fundamental, Facultad de Física, Universidad de Barcelona, Diagonal 647, 08028
Published online: 15 September 2000
Thin films of the giant magnetoresistive granular CoFe-AgCu system prepared by rf sputtering displayed a great variety of domain-like microstructures with a net out-of-plane component of the magnetization for ferromagnetic volume concentrations above about 0.25. Therefore, magnetic percolation takes place at ferromagnetic concentrations much lower than the physical percolation threshold. The out-of-plane structure of the as-deposited samples in magnetic virgin state consisted of a distribution of both quasi-circular domains and short stripes depending on the ferromagnetic content. Furthermore, these samples present high metastability and a variety of remanent in-plane and out-of-plane microstructures can be achieved as a function of the magnetic history. Besides, the evolution of the magnetic microstructure yields strong training effects on magnetotransport properties, due to the extra contribution of the electron scattering at the domain walls. All in all, the observed behavior is the result of a subtle correlation between perpendicular anisotropy produced by residual stresses, exchange interparticle interactions due to CoFe alloyed in the matrix, and dipolar interactions. Thus, as high structural evolution occurs through annealing, the features of randomly distributed ferromagnetic particles are recovered and, the out-of-plane domain structures and the training effects disappear.
PACS: 75.70.Kw – Domain structure (including magnetic bubbles) / 75.70.Pa – Giant magnetoresistance / 75.60.Lr – Magnetic aftereffects
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag, 2000