Magnetic induction maps from a sputter-deposited Co/Cr/Co trilayer have been obtained at different points of the hysteresis cycle, using a conventional transmission electron microscope. The sample shows hysteresis, with nearly parallel alignment of the magnetization in the two Co layers at remanence, but areas of antiparallel alignment developing in reverse fields. Such areas occur in similar positions at opposite points of the hysteresis loop. The strongly correlated domain patterns seen in opposite field directions suggest that the interlayer exchange coupling varies spatially. The parallel alignment observed at remanence suggests the presence of an energy barrier that needs to be overcome before antiparallel alignment can be formed. This conclusion is supported by observations of the film in a demagnetized state.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)