A unidirectional coercivity enhancement, exhibiting the same behavior as a positive exchange bias, has been discovered in a temperature range below the blocking temperature in Co/CoO bilayers. Below this temperature range, the usual shift of the center of the M–H loops to the negative or antiparallel to the cooling field direction is found. This behavior is observed in both magnetic hysteresis loops and transport properties. The positive exchange bias can be explained by reversible changes in the interfacial pinning by the antiferromagnet causing an asymmetric magnetization reversal and a unidirectional coercivity enhancement along the cooling field direction.

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