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Critical magnetic behavior in [Ag8/Co0.5]x64, [Ag8/Co1]x32 and [Ag16/Co1]x32 epitaxial multilayers

AuthorsNavarro, Enrique CSIC ; Alonso, María CSIC ORCID; Ruiz, Ana CSIC ; Magén, César; Urdiroz, Unai; Cebollada, F.; Balcells, Lluis CSIC ORCID; Martínez Perea, Benjamín CSIC ORCID; González, Jesús M.; Palomares, F. Javier CSIC ORCID
KeywordsTransmission electron microscopy
Ultra-high vacuum
Magnetic ordering
Phase transitions
Superconducting quantum interference device
X-ray reflectivity
Issue Date1-Feb-2021
PublisherAmerican Institute of Physics
CitationAIP Advances 11(2): 025220 (2021)
AbstractWe investigate the low temperature magnetic behavior of three epitaxial Co/Ag multilayers, grown onto MgO (001) substrates, with a nominal content per period of either half a monolayer or one monolayer of Co, and either 8 or 16 Ag monolayers. The samples were studied by Xray reflectivity and diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, magnetometry and ac susceptometry. The results indicated a well defined stacking sequence in the growth direction, the number of periods and of Ag monolayers per period being coincident with the nominal values for each sample. The Co layers were found to be discontinuous and corresponded to a quasi-monodisperse in-plane distribution of Co nanoparticles embedded in a Ag(001) matrix. The zero-field cooled and field cooled temperature variations of the low field magnetization indicated the presence of irreversibilities at temperatures below 20 K. The ac field frequency (f) and temperature (T) dependencies of the real part of the susceptibility (χ′) corresponded to a Vogel–Fulcher behavior in the three samples, and indicated a frequency shift parameter (Γ) of the order of 4 x 10-2. For each sample, the experimental data corresponding to the variations of the imaginary part of the ac susceptibility (χ′′) with f and T were found to collapse into a single curve according to the dynamic scaling law. Taken together, these results allow us to conclude that the three multilayers experience a phase transition of the paramagnetic to superspin glass type, driven by the dipolar interactions between the Co nanoparticles. Regarding the influence of the multilayer features, we found a clear dependence of the order parameter of the transition on the nominal number of Co monolayers per period.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/9.0000086
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