Role of an interfacial FeO layer in the electric-field-driven switching of magnetocrystalline anisotropy at the Fe/MgO interface

Kohji Nakamura, Toru Akiyama, Tomonori Ito, M. Weinert, A. J. Freeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

132 Citations (Scopus)


The electric-field-induced switching of magnetocrystalline anisotropy (MCA) between in-plane and out-of-plane orientations is investigated by first-principles calculations for the prototypical Fe on MgO(001) system. Our results predict that an ideal abrupt Fe/MgO interface gives rise to a large out-of-plane MCA due to weak Fe-O hybridization at the interface, but the MCA switching by an applied electric field is found to be difficult to achieve. Instead, the existence of an interfacial FeO layer plays a key role in demonstrating the MCA switching that accompanies an electric-field-induced displacement of Fe atoms on the interfacial FeO layer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number220409
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - Jun 22 2010


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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