Origin of perpendicular magnetic anisotropy in Co/Ni multilayers
AbstractWe studied the variation in perpendicular magnetic anisotropy of (111) textured Au/N×[Co/Ni]/Au films as a function of the number of bilayer repeats N. The ferromagnetic resonance and superconducting quantum interference device magnetometer measurements show that the perpendicular magnetic anisotropy of Co/Ni multilayers first increases with N for N≤10 and then moderately decreases for N>10. The model we propose reveals that the decrease of the anisotropy for N<10 is predominantly due to the reduction in the magnetoelastic and magnetocrystalline anisotropies. A moderate decrease in the perpendicular magnetic anisotropy for N>10 is due to the reduction in the magnetocrystalline and the surface anisotropies. To calculate the contribution of magnetoelastic anisotropy in the Co/Ni multilayers, in-plane and out-of-plane x-ray diffraction measurements are performed to determine the spacing between Co/Ni (111) and (220) planes. The magnetocrystalline bulk anisotropy is estimated from the difference in the perpendicular and parallel g factors of Co/Ni multilayers that are measured using the in-plane and out-of-plane ferromagnetic resonance measurements. Transmission electron microscopy has been used to estimate the multilayer film roughness. These values are used to calculate the roughness-induced surface and magnetocrystalline anisotropy coefficients as a function of N.