Modifying exchange bias effects of Mn/NiFe bilayers by in-situ Ar+ bombardment
In this work, we present a procedure to modify the exchange bias (EB) properties of antiferromagnetic Mn/ferromagnetic NiFe bilayers by in-situ low energy Ar+ bombardment of the Mn layer during sample deposition. We present structural and magnetic results for unassisted and Ar+ assisted Mn/NiFe bilayers. X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy and electron diffraction results establish different preferred Mn orientation directions between the two samples as a result of the Ar+ bombardment process. Hysteresis loops taken over several temperatures reveal that samples assisted with Ar+ ions during the Mn layer deposition had suppressed EB properties at low temperature as compared to samples grown without Ar+ assistance.