L10-FePt/NiO/A1-FePt trilayers have been grown on MgO(001) substrate, in which the top FePt layer is of A1 structure, and the bottom FePt layer is of L10 structure with 001 preferred orientation and strong perpendicular anisotropy. This structure gives rise to a 90 spin alignment configuration of the two ferromagnetic layers across the NiO spacer. To further manipulate the spin configurations of the trilayer structure, we performed an in-plane field cooling (FC). The subsequent hysteresis measurements for the top FePt layer show unambiguous angular dependence of remanent magnetization relative to the direction of the field during FC; i.e., in-plane anisotropy is induced. Taking into account the spin-flop configuration predicted in previous theoretical study, the coupling at the lower interface makes the Ni spins cant out of the (1-1-1) easy plane, and difficult to rotate around the axis perpendicular to the film plane. Correspondingly, the induced anisotropy after FC is considered to result from the realignment of Ni spins and enhancement of the coupling at the upper interface. The magnetic domain imaging results for the bottom perpendicular magnetized FePt layer strongly support this consideration; some of the stripe domains tend to be along the direction of the applied field during FC with reduced stripe width.
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