Suppression of the magnetocrystalline bulk anisotropy in thin epitaxial Co(110) films on Cu(110)
- We report on an unexpected suppression of the magnetocrystalline anisotropy contribution in epitaxial fcc Co(110) films on Cu(110) below a thickness of dc=(50 +/- 10) Å. For film thicknesses larger than dc the measured anisotropy value agrees with published data. Measurements on films with reduced strain indicate a large strain dependence of dc . A model calculation based on a crystal-field formalism and discussed within the context of band theory, which explicitly takes tetragonal misfit strains into account, reproduces the experimen-tally observed anomalies. Our results indicate that the usually applied phenomenological description of anisotropies, assuming additive free energy terms for each anisotropy contribution, fails in this case.