Faculté des sciences

Depth profile of the ferromagnetic order in a YBa₂Cu₃O₇/La2/3Ca1/3MnO₃ superlattice on a LSAT substrate: A polarized neutron reflectometry study

Uribe-Laverde, Miguel Angel ; Satapathy, Dillip Kumar ; Marozau, Ivan ; Malik, Vivek Kumar ; Das, Saikat ; Sen, Kaushik ; Stahn, J. ; Rühm, A. ; Kim, Joo Young ; Keller, T. ; Devishvili, A. ; Toperverg, B. P. ; Bernhard, Christian

In: Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, 2013, vol. 87, no. 11, p. 115105

Using polarized neutron reflectometry (PNR) we have investigated a [YBa₂Cu₃O₇(10 nm)/La2/3Ca1/3MnO₃(9 nm)]₁₀ (YBCO/LCMO) superlattice grown by pulsed laser deposition on a La0.3Sr0.7Al0.65Ta0.35O₃ (LSAT) substrate. Due to the high structural quality of the superlattice and the substrate, the specular reflectivity... Plus

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    Summary
    Using polarized neutron reflectometry (PNR) we have investigated a [YBa₂Cu₃O₇(10 nm)/La2/3Ca1/3MnO₃(9 nm)]₁₀ (YBCO/LCMO) superlattice grown by pulsed laser deposition on a La0.3Sr0.7Al0.65Ta0.35O₃ (LSAT) substrate. Due to the high structural quality of the superlattice and the substrate, the specular reflectivity signal extends with a high signal-to-background ratio beyond the fourth-order superlattice Bragg peak. This allows us to obtain more detailed and reliable information about the magnetic depth profile than in previous PNR studies on similar superlattices that were partially impeded by problems related to the low-temperature structural transitions of the SrTiO₃ substrates. In agreement with the previous reports, our PNR data reveal a strong magnetic proximity effect showing that the depth profile of the magnetic potential differs significantly from the one of the nuclear potential that is given by the YBCO and LCMO layer thickness. We present fits of the PNR data using different simple blocklike models for which either a large ferromagnetic moment is induced on the YBCO side of the interfaces or the ferromagnetic order is suppressed on the LCMO side. We show that a good agreement with the PNR data and with the average magnetization as obtained from dc magnetization data can only be obtained with the latter model where a so-called depleted layer with a strongly suppressed ferromagnetic moment develops on the LCMO side of the interfaces. We also show that the PNR data are still compatible with the presence of a small, ferromagnetic Cu moment of 0.25 μB on the YBCO side that was previously identified with x-ray magnetic circular dichroism and x-ray resonant magnetic reflectometry measurements on the same superlattice [ D. K. Satapathy et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 108 197201 (2012)]. We discuss that the depleted layer thus should not be mistaken with a “dead” layer that is entirely nonmagnetic but rather may contain a canted antiferromagnetic or an oscillatory type of ordering of the Mn moments that is not detected with the PNR technique.