"Spin reorientation and large magnetic anisotropy of metastable bcc Co islands on Au(001)"

T. Miyamachi: T. Kawagoe, S. Imada, M. Tsunekawa, H. Fujiwara, M. Geshi, A. Sekiyama, K. Fukumoto, F. H. Chang, H. J. Lin, F. Kronast, H. Dürr, C. T. Chen, and S. Suga; Phys. Rev. B , 11/11/14.

Additional Authors: T. Kawagoe, S. Imada, M. Tsunekawa, H. Fujiwara, M. Geshi, A. Sekiyama, K. Fukumoto, F. H. Chang, H. J. Lin, F. Kronast, H. Dürr, C. T. Chen, and S. Suga

Abstract:

We studied magnetism and morphology of metastable bcc Co nanostructures on Au(001) by x-ray magnetic circular dichroism in combination with scanning tunneling microscopy and photoelectron emission microscopy. While room-temperature deposition of Co onto Au(001) leads to the formation of bcc Co thin films with pure in-plane magnetization, postannealing of these thin films at 500 K drastically changes the morphology to bcc Co islands embedded in Au. In accordance with this morphological change, we find that an out-of-plane magnetization emerges additionally and the coexistence of in-plane and out-of-plane remanent magnetizations is observed for the islands. The nanostructure-size dependence of magnetic moments suggests that the magnetization easy axis of the island changes from the in-plane to the out-of-plane direction with decreasing nanostructure size. Such a spin reorientation transition is likely due to the increased fractional population of rim atoms generating the out-of-plane magnetization in the smaller islands. The observed out-of-plane remanent magnetization of the smaller islands indicates their large magnetic anisotropy.