Zigzag domain wall mediated reversal in antiferromagnetically coupled layers

R. Lavrijsen, R.P. Cowburn, R. Mansell, D.C.M.C. Petit, A. Fernández-Pacheco, N.-J. Steinke, J.H. Lee

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The Ruderman-Kittel-Kasuya-Yosida (RKKY) coupling between two magnetic layers leads to many important technological applications. Here, the interaction between changing antiferromagnetic RKKY coupling and domain structure is studied in a sample consisting of two 5 nm thick CoFeB layers separated by a wedge of Cu up to 4 nm thick. Magnetic reversal occurs via the propagation of a zigzag domain wall front along the wedge. The modification of domain patterns created in the reversal of a coupled layers in the presence of antiferromagnetic RKKY coupling and coupling gradients is demonstrated. Firstly, the coupling leads to a smaller amplitude of the zigzag wall, which is aligned perpendicular to the easy axis, followed by elongation of the walls at higher coupling strength. The antiferromagnetic RKKY coupling, while not strong enough to cause antiparallel alignment of the layers, is argued to lead to coupling between the spins in the domain walls in the two layers, lowering their energy and driving the reversal behavior of the film.
Original languageEnglish
Article number 4102304
Number of pages4
JournalIEEE Magnetics Letters
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • domain wall dynamics
  • giant magnetoresistance
  • magnetic and spintronic materials
  • magnetic films
  • magnetic materials
  • magnetic microscopy
  • magnetism in solids
  • magnetodynamics
  • Nanomagnetics


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