XMCD and ab initio study of interface-engineered ultrathin Ru/Co/W/Ru films with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy and strong Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction

Samardak, Alexander S.; Ognev, Alexey, V; Kolesnikov, Alexander G.; Stebliy, Maksim E.; Samardak, Vadim Yu; et al. // Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics//

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1039/D1CP05456B

Understanding the nature of recently discovered spin–orbital induced phenomena and a definition of a general approach for “ferromagnet/heavy-metal” layered systems to enhance and manipulate spin–orbit coupling, spin–orbit torque, and the Dzyaloshinskii–Moriya interaction (DMI) assisted by atomic-scale interface engineering are essential for developing spintronics and spin-orbitronics. Here, we exploit X-ray magnetic circular dichroism (XMCD) spectroscopy at the L2,3-edges of 5d and 4d non-magnetic heavy metals (W and Ru, respectively) in ultrathin Ru/Co/W/Ru films to determine their induced magnetic moments due to the proximity to the ferromagnetic layer of Co. The deduced orbital and spin magnetic moments agree well with the theoretically predicted values, highlighting the drastic effect of constituting layers on the system's magnetic properties and the strong interfacial DMI in Ru/Co/W/Ru films. As a result, we demonstrate the ability to simultaneously control the strength of magnetic anisotropy and intermixing-enhanced DMI through the interface engineered inversion asymmetry in thin-film chiral ferromagnets, which are a potential host for stable magnetic skyrmions.