Magnetotransport and magnetocrystalline anisotropy in Ga1-xMnxAs epilayers


We present an analysis of the magnetic anisotropy in epitaxial Ga1-xMnxAs thin films through electrical transport measurements on multiterminal microdevices. The film magnetization is manipulated in 3D space by a three-axis vector magnet. Anomalous switching patterns are observed in both longitudinal and transverse resistance data. In transverse geometry in particular we observe strong interplay between the anomalous Hall effect and the giant planar Hall effect. This allows direct electrical characterization of magnetic transitions in the 3D space. These transitions reflect a competition between cubic magnetic anisotropy and an effective out-of-plane uniaxial anisotropy, with a reversal mechanism that is distinct from the in-plane magnetization. The uniaxial anisotropy field is directly calculated with high precision and compared with theoretical predictions

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