The bilayers which form the basic unit in superlattices define a unit cell which normally contains a large number of inequivalent sites. With over 20 such sites being involved it is not at present feasible to use the known sophisticated self-consistent and relativistic computational procedures to obtain the band structure. A simple model is considered in which the lattice structure is represented in the superlattice direction by an appropriate number of square well potentials (different for each of the constituent atoms) and in the other two perpendicular directions by a quasi-free periodic potential. The resulting three-dimensional band structure exhibits the behavior expected for that of a metallic superlattice, and is used to evaluate the RKKY interaction as a function of distance between sites within the structure. When one of the two constituent elements in the superlattice is a metallic rare earth for which the ions possess a magnetic moment then this interaction should be dominant in determining any magnetic ordering which occurs. A comparison is made between the orderings so predicted and those which have been found experimentally.


Originally published in Journal of Applied Physics 67, 5685 (1990). DOI:10.1063/1.345931 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.345931).


superlattices, RKKY interaction, photon polariton modes, magnetic nonmagnetic layered structure, square well potentials, quasi free periodic potential

Subject Categories

Magnetization, Superlattices as materials


Electromagnetics and photonics


American Institute of Physics

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Copyright 1990 American Institute of Physics.

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American Institute of Physics

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