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Title: Strain control magnetocrystalline anisotropy of Ta/FeCo/MgO heterostructures

Using ab initio electronic structure calculations, we have investigated the effect of epitaxial strain on magnetocrystalline anisotropy (MCA) of Ta/FeCo/MgO heterostructure. At small expansive strains on the FeCo layer, the system exhibits perpendicular MCA (PMA). Strain not only has a profound effect on the value of MCA but also induces a switching of magnetic easy axis. Analysis of the energy- and k-resolved distribution of orbital characters of the minority-spin band reveals that a significant contribution to PMA at zero strain arises from the spin-orbit coupling between occupied d{sub x{sup 2}−y{sup 2}} and unoccupied d{sub xy} states, derived from Fe at the FeCo/MgO interface. The strain effect is attributed to strain-induced shifts of spin-orbit coupled d-states. Our work demonstrates that strain engineering can open a viable pathway towards tailoring magnetic properties for spintronic applications.
Authors:
;  [1] ; ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, California State University Northridge, Northridge, California 91330 (United States)
  2. Department of Electrical Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095 (United States)
  3. Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22409961
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Applied Physics; Journal Volume: 117; Journal Issue: 17; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; ANISOTROPY; COBALT; D STATES; ELECTRONIC STRUCTURE; EPITAXY; HETEROJUNCTIONS; INTERFACES; INTERMETALLIC COMPOUNDS; IRON; LAYERS; L-S COUPLING; MAGNESIUM OXIDES; MAGNETIC MATERIALS; MAGNETIC PROPERTIES; SPIN; STRAINS; TANTALUM