Competing Exchange Interactions in Magnetic Multilayers B. Skubic, E. Holmström, D. Iusan, O. Bengone, O. Eriksson, R. Brucas, B. Hjörvarsson, V. Stanciu, and P. Nordblad Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 057205 (2006)
We have studied alloying of the nonmagnetic spacer layer with a magnetic material as a method of tuning the interlayer coupling in magnetic multilayers. We have specifically studied the Fe/V(100) system by alloying the spacer V with various amounts of Fe. For some Fe concentrations in the spacer, it is possible to create a competition between antiferromagnetic Ruderman-Kittel-Kasuya-Yoshida exchange and direct ferromagnetic exchange coupling. The exchange coupling and transport properties for a large span of systems with different spacer concentrations and thicknesses were calculated and measured experimentally and good agreement between observations and theory was observed. A reduction in magnetoresistance of about 50% was observed close to the switchover from antiferromagnetic to ferromagnetic coupling.