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Leighton, Chris Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
- Basic effect
- Intuitive explanation
- Potential applications
- Experimental and theoretical advances
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Of considerable scientific and technological importance, exchange bias is the field shift that takes place in the magnetic hysteresis loop of a ferromagnetic material when it is placed in intimate contact with an antiferromagnetic material. Although exchange bias was discovered 50 years ago, it is still a topic of intense interest. This stems partly from the fundamental interest in interface magnetism that the advent of magnetoelectronics has brought about, and partly from its technological application in the magnetic recording industry. Despite extensive research efforts, a full understanding of the origin of exchange bias is still lacking. This article provides a short description of the exchange bias effect, the materials systems in which it is observed, and an intuitive explanation of its origin. This is followed by an explanation of the technological appeal of exchange bias, a description of the theoretical ideas developed to model it, and an outlook on the prospects for future progress.
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