The electric-field-induced switching of magnetocrystalline anisotropy (MCA) between in-plane and out-of-plane orientations is investigated by first-principles calculations for the prototypical Fe on MgO(001) system. Our results predict that an ideal abrupt Fe/MgO interface gives rise to a large out-of-plane MCA due to weak Fe-O hybridization at the interface, but the MCA switching by an applied electric field is found to be difficult to achieve. Instead, the existence of an interfacial FeO layer plays a key role in demonstrating the MCA switching that accompanies an electric-field-induced displacement of Fe atoms on the interfacial FeO layer.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics|
|State||Published - Jun 22 2010|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials