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Ferromagnetism at the interfaces of antiferromagnetic FeRh epilayers

Fan, R; Kinane, CJ; Charlton, TR; Dorner, R; Ali, M; de Vries, MA; Brydson, RMD; Marrows, CH; Hickey, BJ; Arena, DA; Tanner, BK; Nisbet, G; Langridge, S

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R Fan

CJ Kinane

TR Charlton

R Dorner

M Ali

MA de Vries

RMD Brydson

CH Marrows

BJ Hickey

DA Arena

BK Tanner

G Nisbet

S Langridge


The nanoscale magnetic structure of FeRh epilayers has been studied by polarized neutron reflectometry. Epitaxial films with a nominal thickness of 500 Å were grown on MgO (001) substrates via molecular-beam epitaxy and capped with 20 Å of MgO. The FeRh films show a clear transition from the antiferromagnetic (AF) state to the ferromagnetic (FM) state with increasing temperature. Surprisingly the films possess a FM moment even at a temperature 80 K below the AF-FM transition temperature of the film. We have quantified the magnitude and spatial extent of this FM moment, which is confined to within ∼60–80 Å of the FeRh near the top and bottom interfaces. These interfacial FM layers account for the unusual effects previously observed in films with thickness <100 Å. Given the delicate energy balance between the AF and FM ground states we suggest a metastable FM state resides near to the interface within an AF matrix. The length scale over which the FM region resides is consistent with the strained regions of the film.


Fan, R., Kinane, C., Charlton, T., Dorner, R., Ali, M., de Vries, M., …Langridge, S. (2010). Ferromagnetism at the interfaces of antiferromagnetic FeRh epilayers. Physical review B, 82(18), Article 184418.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Nov 1, 2010
Deposit Date Jun 24, 2011
Publicly Available Date Nov 27, 2012
Journal Physical Review B
Print ISSN 1098-0121
Electronic ISSN 1550-235X
Publisher American Physical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 82
Issue 18
Article Number 184418
Keywords Thin-films, Metal-alloys, Multilayers, Transition, Pressure, RH


Published Journal Article (401 Kb)

Copyright Statement
© 2010 The American Physical Society

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