3 years ago

Interference induced enhancement of magneto-optical Kerr effect in ultrathin magnetic films

Masamitsu Hayashi, Satoshi Sumi, Hiroyuki Awano
We have studied the magneto-optical spectra of ultrathin magnetic films deposited on Si substrates coated with an oxide layer (SiOx). We find that the Kerr rotation angle and the ellipticity of ~1 nm thick CoFeB thin films, almost transparent to visible light, show a strong dependence on the thickness of the SiOx layer. The Kerr signal from the 1 nm CoFeB thin film can be larger than that of ~100 nm thick CoFeB films for a given SiOx thickness and light wavelength. The enhancement of the Kerr signal occurs when optical interference takes place within the SiOx layer. Interestingly, under such resonance condition, the measured Kerr signal is in some cases larger than the estimation despite the good agreement of the measured and calculated reflection amplitude. We infer the discrepancy originates from interface states that are distinct from the bulk characteristics. These results show that optical interference effect can be utilized to study the magneto-optical properties of ultrathin films.

Publisher URL: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-18794-w

DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-18794-w

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