Three-dimensional atom probe field-ion microscopy observation of Cu/Co multilayer film structures

D. J. Larson*, A. K. Petford-Long, A. Cerezo, G. D W Smith, D. T. Foord, T. C. Anthony

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Focused ion-beam milling has been used to fabricate field-ion specimens from a multilayer film structure containing 100 repetitions of a (Cu2 nm/Co2 nm) bilayer deposited directly onto a planar substrate. The as-deposited films showed a magnetoresistance ratio of ∼5% over a 250 Oe range at room temperature, and a coercivity of ∼60 Oe. The magnetic data suggest that the films are coupled ferromagnetically. Successful field-ion specimen preparation has allowed the observation of these layers by field-ion imaging and three-dimensional atom probe compositional analysis. Examination of the multilayer images reveals that, in some regions, the layers are nonparallel, but the interfaces are chemically quite sharp, with a diffuse interface region of ∼3 atomic layers. In addition, in some areas adjacent cobalt layers appear to be in contact. The fact that the layers are wavy suggests that the ferromagnetic coupling may be a result of Néel "orange peel" type magnetostatic coupling between adjacent cobalt layers. The relatively high coercivity may be a result of the poor layer planarity leading to a high number of domain wall pinning sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1125-1127
Number of pages3
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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