Synthetic ferrimagnets based on Co and Gd bear promise for directly bridging the gap between volatile information in the photonic domain and nonvolatile information in the magnetic domain, without the need for any intermediary electronic conversion. Specifically, these systems exhibit strong spin–orbit torque effects, fast domain wall motion, and single-pulse all-optical switching of the magnetization. An important open challenge to bring these materials to the brink of applications is to achieve long-term stability of their magnetic properties. In this work, we address the time-evolution of the magnetic moment and compensation temperature of magnetron sputter grown Pt/Co/Gd trilayers with various capping layers. Over the course of three months, the net magnetic moment and compensation temperature change significantly, which we attribute to quenching of the Gd magnetization. We identify that intermixing of the capping layer and Gd is primarily responsible for this effect, which can be alleviated by choosing nitrides for capping as long as reduction of nitride to oxide is properly addressed. In short, this work provides an overview of the relevant aging effects that should be taken into account when designing synthetic ferrimagnets based on Co and Gd for spintronic applications.
Aging and passivation of magnetic properties in Co/Gd bilayers
Thomas J. Kools, Youri L. W. van Hees, Kenneth Poissonnier, Pingzhi Li, Beatriz Barcones Campo, Marcel A. Verheijen, Bert Koopmans, Reinoud Lavrijsen; Aging and passivation of magnetic properties in Co/Gd bilayers. Appl. Phys. Lett. 24 July 2023; 123 (4): 042406. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0160135
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