Magnetic anisotropy in Fe/U and Ni/U bilayers

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Abstract

Magnetometry measurements of Fe/U and Ni/U bilayer systems reveal a nonmonotonic dependence of the
magnetic anisotropy for U thicknesses in the range of 0–8 nm with the Fe/U bilayers showing a more prominent
effect as compared to Ni/U. The stronger response for Fe/U is ascribed to the stronger 3d-5 f hybridization of
Fe and U. This nonmonotonic behavior is thought to arise from quantum well states in the uranium overlayers.
Estimating an oscillation period from the nonmonotonic data, and comparing it to Density Functional Theory
calculations, we find that wave vector matches to the experimental data can be made to regions of high spectral
density in (010) and (100) cuts of the electronic structure of α-U, consistent with the measured texture in the
films. Unexpectedly, there are also indications of perpendicular magnetic anisotropy in a subset of Fe/U samples
at relatively large U thickness.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104426
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Review B
Volume103
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank N.-J. Steinke and G. Stenning at the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source for access to and support with the rotating anode x-ray diffractometer system. E.R.G. was supported by the Bath/Bristol Centre for Doctoral Training in Condensed Matter Physics under the EPSRC (UK) Grant No. EP/L015544. M.G. thanks the visiting professorship program of the Centre for Dynamics and Topology at Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz. The computational work was carried out using the computational facilities of the Advanced Computing Research Centre, University of Bristol.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Physical Society.

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