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Measurement of the energy barrier distribution in the antiferromagnetic layer of exchange-biased materials

By K. O'Grady, L. Holloway and W.J. Antel

Abstract

The value of exchange field of two FeMn–NiFeCobased spin valves with varying thickness of the pinned ferromagnetic layer has been determined as a function of temperature. The complexities caused by thermal activation of the antiferromagnet during measurement have been overcome by the development of a measurement protocol. The values of the exchange field obtained provide a measure of the degree of order in the antiferromagnet. Thus it is possible to determine the distribution of energy barriers to reversal for the system. We find that for a 110-A -thick pinned NiFeCo layer a broad distribution exists, whereas for an 80-A layer, the distribution is bimodal and has a component subject to thermal activation at temperatures down to 260 K

Year: 2002
DOI identifier: 10.1109/TMAG.2002.802867
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.whiterose.ac.uk:643

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