Atomic separation in Co/Cu/Co magnetic structures study by hybrid X-ray reflectivity – X-ray standing wave approach

O. A. Kondratev*, I. A. Makhotkin, S. N. Yakunin

*Corresponding author for this work

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The detailed characterization of nanometer-thin film structures is key to the in-depth understanding and property control of such objects. Here we present the analysis of Co/Cu/Co multilayer grown on and covered by thin Ta layers at individual layer thicknesses below 5 nm. The prime focus of the analysis was to detect the threshold Cu thickness required to separate effectively the magnetic Co layer. We found that a 4 nm Cu layer can effectively separate Co layers, but that 2.8 nm of Cu is not sufficient. To solve such structural characterization tasks, we adapted a hybrid X-ray reflectivity – X-ray standing wave free-form analysis technique. We applied that to the study of the Co layers separation by Cu and now it can be used to perform any task of this kind and also for other material combinations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number151573
Number of pages7
JournalApplied surface science
Early online date20 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022


  • Atomic distribution analysis
  • Magnet thin layers
  • X-ray reflectometry
  • X-ray standing waves
  • 22/2 OA procedure

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