On tilted magnetization in thin films

L. Udvardi, R. Király, L. Szunyogh, F. Denat, M. B. Taylor, B. L. Györffy, B. Újfalussy, C. Uiberacker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)


We suggest a new mechanism for explaining the tilt of the magnetization away from the surface normal in certain magnetic ultra-thin films. Our arguments are based on a simple classical spin Hamiltonian in which the magnetocrystalline surface anisotropy is described by Ha = Σiλi(siz)2 + Σiγi(siz)4, where λi and γi are non-negative phenomenological constants, siz denotes the z-component (normal to the surface) of the spin at the site labelled by i. In this paper we study only the ground state. In contrast to the usual explanation which attributes the experimentally observed tilted magnetization to the fourth-order term involving γi, we show that the second-order term alone can lead to this interesting phenomenon. Our explanation implies that the magnetization of the successive layers are not collinear. As an illustration of our arguments we discuss the experimentally observed orientational transition of the Co/Au(1 1 1) system in quantitative details.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-291
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 20 1998


  • Anisotropy - surface
  • Exchange coupling - dipolar
  • Non-collinear magnetism
  • Reorientation transition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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