In-plane anomalies of the exchange bias field in Ni 80Fe 20/Fe 50Mn 50 bilayers on Cu(110)
- We report on the exchange bias effect as a function of the in-plane direction of the applied field in two-fold symmetric, epitaxial Ni80Fe20/Fe50Mn50 bilayers grown on Cu(110) single crystal substrates. An enhancement of the exchange bias field, Heb, up to a factor of two is observed if the external field is nearly, but not fully aligned perpendicular to the symmetry direction of the exchange bias field. From the measurement of the ex-change bias field as a function of the in-plane angle of the applied field, the unidirectional, uniaxial and four-fold anisotropy contributions are determined with high precision. The symmetry direction of the unidirec-tional anisotropy switches with increasing NiFe thickness from  to .