Abstract: Ferrimagnetic insulators with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy are of particular interest for spintronics due to their ability to mitigate current shunting in spin–orbit torque heterostructures and enable low switching energy, high-density storage magnetic devices. Rare earth iron garnet Tm3Fe5O12 (TmIG) is one such material where prior studies have shown that the negative magnetostriction coefficient and isotropic in-plane tensile strain enable the magnetoelastic anisotropy to overcome the demagnetization energy and stabilize perpendicular magnetic anisotropy. However, the investigation of the tunability of the magnetoelastic anisotropy between thin films that possess perpendicular magnetization and quantification of the magnetoelastic constants has not been reported. Here, we quantify the evolution of magnetic anisotropy in (111)-oriented, epitaxial, 17 nm thick thin films of TmIG using a systematic variation of in-plane epitaxial strain (ranging 0.49%–1.83%) imposed by a suite of commercially available garnet substrates. Within the confines of the imposed strain range and deposition condition, the distortion from cubic symmetry is found to be approximately linear within the in-plane strain. The magnetic anisotropy field can be tuned by a factor of 14 in this strain range. The magnetoelastic anisotropy constant, B2, is found to be approximately constant (∼2500 kJ m−3) and more than 2× larger than the reported bulk value (∼1200 kJ m−3) for a cubic distortion between 90.17° and 90.71°. B2 is found to decrease at cubic distortions of 90.74° and larger. Our results highlight strain engineering, and its limitations, for control of perpendicular magnetic anisotropy.
The full text is available as an editor’s choice article from Journal of Applied Physics