Spin-Orbit (SO) effects of a ferromagnetic (FM) layer can be artificially modified by interfacial exchange coupling with an anti-ferro magnet (AFM). Non-symmetric magnetization reversals as well as asymmetric transport behaviors are distinctive signatures of the symmetry-breaking induced by such interfacial coupling. We present a complete picture of the symmetry of the SO effects by studying the magneto-transport properties of single FM film and FM/AFM systems (exchanged-biased bilayer and spin-valve structures) with specific in-plane magnetic anisotropy. Single FM films with a well-defined (two-fold) uniaxial magnetic anisotropy display symmetric magnetization reversals and magneto-resistance responses for any value and direction of the applied magnetic field. On the contrary, in the exchange-biased structures, the exchange interaction at the interface between the FM and AFM layers is responsible of chiral asymmetries in magnetization reversal pathways as well as in the magneto-resistance behaviors. Such asymmetries are directly related to the additional unidirectional (one-fold) magnetic anisotropy imposed by the AFM. In particular, chiral reversals and MR responses are found around the magnetization hard-axis direction. This has been shown in FM/AFM bilayer and spin-valve (where the MR outputs are related to different transport phenomena, i.e. anisotropic magneto-resistance and giant magneto-resistance respectively), hence indicating that the chiral asymmetries are intrinsic of systems with unidirectional anisotropy.
Paolo Perna, Fernando Ajejas, Davide Maccariello, Ruben Guerrero, Julio Camarero, and Rodolfo Miranda, "Chiral asymmetry driven by unidirectional magnetic anisotropy in Spin-Orbitronic systems," Proc. SPIE 9931, Spintronics IX, 99312I (Presented at SPIE Nanoscience + Engineering: August 31, 2016; Published: 4 November 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2242902.
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