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Magnetic properties and domain structure of ultrathin yttrium iron garnet/Pt bilayers

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Mendil J., Trassin M., Bu Q., Schaab J., Baumgartner M., Murer C., Dao P. T., Vijayakumar J., Bracher D., Bouillet C., Vaz C. A. F., Fiebig M., Gambardella P.,
Project Spin-orbitronics in ferromagnets and antiferromagnets
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Physical Review Materials
Volume (Issue) 3(3)
Page(s) 034403 - 034403
ISBN 2475-9953
Title of proceedings Physical Review Materials
DOI 10.1103/physrevmaterials.3.034403

Open Access

URL https://arxiv.org/abs/1903.08285
Type of Open Access Repository (Green Open Access)

Abstract

We report on the structure, magnetization, magnetic anisotropy, and domain morphology of ultrathin yttrium iron garnet (YIG)/Pt films with thickness ranging from 3 to 90 nm. We find that the saturation magnetization is close to the bulk value in the thickest films and decreases at low thickness with a strong reduction below 10 nm. We characterize the magnetic anisotropy by measuring the transverse spin Hall magnetoresistance as a function of applied field. Our results reveal strong easy-plane anisotropy fields of the order of 50-100 mT, which add to the demagnetizing field, as well as weaker in-plane uniaxial anisotropy ranging from 10 to 100 mu T. The in-plane easy-axis direction changes with thickness but presents also significant fluctuations among samples with the same thickness grown on the same substrate. X-ray photoelectron emission microscopy reveals the formation of zigzag magnetic domains in YIG films thicker than 10 nm, which have dimensions larger than several 100 mu m and are separated by achiral Neel-type domain walls. Smaller domains characterized by interspersed elongated features are found in YIG films thinner than 10 nm.
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