Using element-resolved x-ray magnetic circular dichroism (XMCD) and x-ray magnetic linear dichroism (XMLD) measurements, we determined the spin orientations of Ni, CoO and Fe films in Ni/CoO/Fe films grown on a curved MgO(0 0 1) substrate. We find that the vicinal surface of MgO(0 0 1) substrate results in a spin canting towards out-of-plane direction in the Ni and CoO films as a result of the interfacial coupling. The Ni spin canting angle increases monotonically with the vicinal angle in the studied range of 0–17° and the CoO spin canting angle increases more rapidly towards saturation only at a few degrees of the vicinal angle. The uniaxial magnetic anisotropy induced in the Ni layer by the Ni/CoO interfacial coupling is quantitatively determined and is shown to increase monotonically with the vicinal angle. Our result provides a new pathway for tailoring the spin orientation by modifying the substrate surface symmetry in combining with the ferromagnetic/antiferromagnetic interfacial interaction in thin-film based spintronic devices.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics