Dipole-induced exchange bias†
The discovery of dipole-induced exchange bias (EB), switching from negative to positive sign, is reported in systems where the antiferromagnet and the ferromagnet are separated by a paramagnetic spacer (AFM–PM–FM). The magnitude and sign of the EB is determined by the cooling field strength and the PM thickness. The same cooling field yields negative EB for thin spacers, and positive EB for thicker ones. The EB decay profile as a function of the spacer thickness, and the change of sign, are attributed to long-ranged dipole coupling. Our model, which accounts quantitatively for the experimental results, ignores the short range interfacial exchange interactions of the usual EB theories. Instead, it retains solely the long range dipole field that allows for the coupling of the FM and AFM across the PM spacer. The experiments allow for novel switching capabilities of long range EB systems, while the theory allows description of the structures where the FM and AFM are not in atomic contact. The results provide a new approach to design novel interacting heterostructures.