First-principles calculations of the magnetic anisotropic constants of Co-Pd multilayers: Effect of stacking faults

G. Wu*, K. H. Khoo, M. H. Jhon, H. Meng, S. Y.H. Lua, R. Sbiaa, C. K. Gan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Using first-principles density functional theory calculations with spin-orbit coupling, we systematically investigate the magnetic anisotropic energy (MAE) of Co nPd m (n+m=5) magnetic multilayers. We consider the influences of the relative atomic weight of Co, w Co, stacking fault, and external stress on the MAE. We find that out-of-plane lattice constant, saturation magnetization, and magnetic moments are almost linearly correlated with w Co. The magnetic anisotropic constant (MAC) curve of Co nPd m without stacking fault shows a near-linear dependence on w Co that agrees with our derived effective MAC K u eff which includes shape, magneto-crystalline, and magneto-elastic contributions. We also show that the contributions from Pd layers to both the total magnetic moments and magnetic anisotropy are significant. The stress anisotropy due to the substrate has a weak effect on the MAC. However the stacking fault has a strong effect on the MAC. When the Co layer is thin, a Co-Pd interface without stacking fault is necessary for higher K u eff. However, when the Co layer is thick, creating stacking faults inside the Co region may produce a larger K u eff. Our study suggests the ways to increase the perpendicular magnetic anisotropy in Co-Pd multilayer systems and subsequently leads to the development of novel magnetic recording devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17001
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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