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Magnetization switching and inverted hysteresis in perpendicular antiferromagnetic superlattices

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The magnetization of antiferromagnetic (AFM) superlattices as a function of applied field was investigated using Monte Carlo simulations. The simulated hysteresis loops of systems with N magnetic layers with AFM coupling between the layers exhibit distinct steps with magnetization that decreases with increasing N. Systems with odd N exhibit 3 steps and inverted hysteresis for N > 3, whereas systems with even N exhibit 4 steps, for N > 2, and their microscopic switching sequence is non-deterministic and can take two distinct pathways, even though the switching of the global magnetization is exactly reversible. © 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.

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