The resilience of the exchange bias (Hex) in ferromagnet/antiferromagnet bilayers is generally studied in terms of repeated hysteresis loop cycling or by protracted annealing under reversed field (training and long-term relaxation, respectively). In this paper we report measurements of training and relaxation in NiFe films coupled with polycrystalline FeMn and epitaxial α-Fe2O3. We show that Hexsuppressed both by training and relaxation was partially recovered as soon as a field cycling for consecutive hysteresis loop measurement was stopped or the magnetization of the ferromagnet was switched back to the biased direction. In both cases we can model the observed logarithmic time relaxation behavior, and its film thickness and temperature dependence, in terms of a thermally activated reversal of the antiferromagnetic domain configuration to reduce the total magnetic energy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)