Overlayer-induced anomalous interface magnetocrystalline anisotropy in ultrathin Co films

Lieping Zhong, Miyoung Kim, Xindong Wang, A. Freeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


The full-potential linearized augmented-plane-wave method with the atomic force approach has been used to determine the interface structure and magnetocrystalline anisotropy (MCA) of a Co monolayer on Cu(111), with and without Cu overlayers. It is found in good agreement with experiment, that the interface MCA for a fully relaxed structure is in-plane with a value of -0.30 meV for Co monolayer (ML) on Cu(111). When capped with nonmagnetic Cu, the interface MCA changes dramatically: for one ML Cu coverage, it is perpendicular to the film plane with a MCA value of + 0.23 meV; for two ML Cu coverage, it rapidly drops to -0.02 meV. Our results confirm that the hybridization at the Co/Cu interface plays an important role in the interface MCA of Co/Cu systems. By comparing the results of the fully relaxed structures with those of unrelaxed structures, we also found that relaxation is important for accurate determinations of the interface MCA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9770-9775
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number15
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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