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Journal Article

Direct observation of rotatable uncompensated spins in the exchange bias system Co/CoO-MgO


Hu,  Z.
Zhiwei Hu, Physics of Correlated Matter, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, Max Planck Society;

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Ge, C. N., Wan, X. G., Pellegrin, E., Hu, Z., Valvidares, S. M., Barla, A., et al. (2013). Direct observation of rotatable uncompensated spins in the exchange bias system Co/CoO-MgO. Nanoscale, 5(21), 10236-10241. doi:10.1039/c3nr02013d.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0015-1F58-1
We have observed a large exchange bias field H-E approximate to 2460 Oe and a large coercive field H-C approximate to 6200 Oe at T = 2 K for Co/CoO core-shell nanoparticles (similar to 4 nm diameter Co metal core and CoO shell with similar to 1 nm thickness) embedded in a non-magnetic MgO matrix. Our results are in sharp contrast to the small exchange bias and coercive field in the case of a non-magnetic Al2O3 or C matrix materials reported in previous studies. Using soft X-ray magnetic circular dichroism at the Co-L-2,L-3 edge, we have observed a ferromagnetic signal originating from the antiferromagnetic CoO shell. This gives direct evidence for the existence of rotatable interfacial uncompensated Co spins in the nominally antiferromagnetic CoO shell, thus supporting the uncompensated spin model as a microscopic description of the exchange bias mechanism.