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Growth-Induced In-Plane Uniaxial Anisotropy in V2O3/Ni Films

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We report on a strain-induced and temperature dependent uniaxial anisotropy in V2O3/Ni hybrid thin films, manifested through the interfacial strain and sample microstructure, and its consequences on the angular dependent magnetization reversal. X-ray diffraction and reciprocal space maps identify the in-plane crystalline axes of the V2O3; atomic force and scanning electron microscopy reveal oriented rips in the film microstructure. Quasi-static magnetometry and dynamic ferromagnetic resonance measurements identify a uniaxial magnetic easy axis along the rips. Comparison with films grown on sapphire without rips shows a combined contribution from strain and microstructure in the V2O3/Ni films. Magnetization reversal characteristics captured by angular-dependent first order reversal curve measurements indicate a strong domain wall pinning along the direction orthogonal to the rips, inducing an angular-dependent change in the reversal mechanism. The resultant anisotropy is tunable with temperature and is most pronounced at room temperature, which is beneficial for potential device applications.

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