We have studied the reversal of the bulk and interfacial magnetizations of the free layer of a spin valve using soft x-ray resonant magnetic scattering. By dusting the interface of the NiFe free layer with a few angströms of Co, we were able to distinguish between the interfacial and bulk magnetisms by tuning the x-ray photon energy. We measured hysteresis loops of reflected x-ray intensity at selected points in reciprocal space. We find no difference in the switching fields, showing that in transition metal ferromagnets, the exchange interactions are sufficiently strong to prevent a separate interfacial coercivity from arising.
24 Sep 2007
Volume: 91 Issue: 13 Pages: 132510
Applied Physics Letters