Brillouin light scattering (BLS) was exploited to study the spin wave properties of spin-valve (SV) type samples basically consisting of two 5 nm-thick NiFe layers (separated by a Cu spacer of 5 nm), differently biased through the interface exchange coupling with an antiferromagnetic IrMn layer. Three samples were investigated: a reference SV sample, without IrMn (reference); one sample with an IrMn underlayer (10 nm thick) coupled to the bottom NiFe film; one sample with IrMn underlayer and overlayer of different thickness (10 nm and 6 nm), coupled to the bottom and top NiFe film, respectively. The exchange coupling with the IrMn, causing the insurgence of the exchange bias effect, allowed the relative orientation of the NiFe magnetization vectors to be controlled by an external magnetic field, as assessed through hysteresis loop measurements by magneto-optic magnetometry. Thus, BLS spectra were acquired by sweeping the magnetic field so as to encompass both the parallel and antiparallel alignment of the NiFe layers. The BLS results, well reproduced by the presented theoretical model, clearly revealed the combined effects on the spin dynamic properties of the dipolar interaction between the two NiFe films and of the interface IrMn/NiFe exchange coupling.
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