Exchange Bias

Exchange bias or exchange anisotropy occurs in bilayers (or multilayers) of magnetic materials where the hard magnetization behavior of an antiferromagnetic thin film causes a shift in the soft magnetization curve of a ferromagnetic film. The exchange bias phenomenon is of tremendous utility in magnetic recording, where it is used to pin the state of the readback heads of hard disk drives at exactly their point of maximum sensitivity; hence the term "bias."

Read more about Exchange BiasFundamental Science, Technological Impact, History

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Exchange Bias - History
... Exchange anisotropy was discovered by Meiklejohn and Bean of General Electric in 1956 ... The first commercial device to employ the exchange bias was IBM's anisotropic magnetoresistance (AMR) disk drive recording head, which was based on a design by Hunt in the 1970s but ... By the mid-1990s, the spin valve head using an exchange-bias layer was well on its way to displacing the AMR head ...

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