Observation of Antiferromagnetic Domains in Epitaxial Thin Films

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Science  11 Feb 2000:
Vol. 287, Issue 5455, pp. 1014-1016
DOI: 10.1126/science.287.5455.1014

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Antiferromagnetic domains in an epitaxial thin film, LaFeO3 on SrTiO3(100), were observed using a high-spatial-resolution photoelectron emission microscope with contrast generated by the large x-ray magnetic linear dichroism effect at the multiplet-split L edge of Fe. The antiferromagnetic domains are linked to 90° twinned crystallographic regions in the film. The Néel temperature of the thin film is reduced by 70 kelvin relative to the bulk material, and this reduction is attributed to epitaxial strain. These studies open the door for a microscopic understanding of the magnetic coupling across antiferromagnetic-ferromagnetic interfaces.

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