Demeter, J.; Menéndez, E.; Teichert, A.; Steitz, R.; Paramanik, D.; Van Haesendonck, C.; Vantomme, A.; Temst, K.: Influence of magnetocrystalline anisotropy on the magnetization reversal mechanism in exchange bias Co/CoO bilayers. Solid State Communications 152 (2012), p. 292-295

We investigated the reversal mechanism in a Co/CoO exchange bias bilayer with a pronounced magnetocrystalline anisotropy in the ferromagnet. The anisotropy, which is induced by the growth of a highly textured Co layer, imposes a distinct reversal mechanism along the magnetically easy and hard direction. It is shown that exchange bias can be induced along both directions, despite the magnetocrystalline anisotropy. The interplay between the magnetocrystalline anisotropy and exchange bias induces a different reversal mechanism for the subsequent reversals in the two crystallographic directions. Along the hard axis, the magnetization reverses according to the reversal mechanism observed before in polycrystalline exchange bias bilayers, i.e. domain wall nucleation and motion for the first reversal and coherent rotation for the subsequent ones. Along the easy axis, domain wall motion remains the dominant reversal mechanism and magnetization rotation has only a minor contribution.