We have investigated the effect of surface chemisorption on the spin reorientation transitions in magnetic ultrathin Fe films on Ag(0 0 1) by means of the polar and longitudinal magneto-optical Kerr effect (MOKE) and X-ray magnetic circular dichroism (XMCD) measurements. It is found by the MOKE that adsorption of O2 and NO induces the shift of the critical thickness for the transitions to a thinner side, together with the suppression of the remanent magnetization and the coercive field of the Fe film. This implies destabilization of the perpendicular magnetic anisotropy. On the other hand, H2 adsorption is found not to change the magnetic anisotropy, though the enhancement of the coercive field is observed. The XMCD reveals that although both the spin and orbital magnetic moments along the surface normal are noticeably reduced upon O2 and NO adsorption, the reduction of the orbital magnetic moments are more significant. This indicates that the destabilization of the perpendicular magnetic anisotropy upon chemisorption of O2 and NO originates from the change of the spin-orbit interaction at the surface.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Surfaces and Interfaces
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry