Effects of hydrogen/deuterium absorption on the magnetic properties of Co/Pd multilayers


The effects of hydrogen (H2) and deuterium (D2) absorption were studied in two Co/Pd multilayers with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (PMA) using polarized neutron reflectivity (PNR). PNR was measured in an external magnetic field H applied in the plane of the sample with the magnetization M confined in the plane for {\mu}_o H= 6.0 T and partially out of plane at 0.65 T. Nominal thicknesses of the Co and Pd layers were 2.5 {\AA} and 21 {\AA}, respectively. Because of these small values, the actual layer chemical composition, thickness, and interface roughness parameters were determined from the nuclear scattering length density profile ({\rho}_n) and its derivative obtained from both x-ray reflectivity and PNR, and uncertainties were determined using Monte Carlo analysis. The PNR {\rho}_n showed that although D2 absorption occurred throughout the samples, absorption in the multilayer stack was modest (0.02 D per Pd atom) and thus did not expand. Direct magnetometry showed that H2 absorption decreased the total M at saturation and increased the component of M in the plane of the sample when not at saturation. The PNR magnetic scattering length density ({\rho}_m) revealed that the Pd layers in the multilayer stack were magnetized and that their magnetization was preferentially modified upon D2 absorption. In one sample, a modulation of M with twice the multilayer period was observed at {\mu}_o H= 0.65 T, which increased upon D2 absorption. These results indicate that H2 or D2 absorption decreases both the PMA and total magnetization of the samples. The lack of measurable expansion during absorption indicates that these changes are primarily governed by modification of the electronic structure of the material.Comment: to appear in Physics review B, 201

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