Low temperature Co K-edge x-ray magnetic circular dichroism spectra at different field cooling conditions were recorded to study the imprinted magnetization in antiferromagnetic (AFM) Co doped ZnO (Co:ZnO) films which manifests itself in a vertical exchange bias effect. Co:ZnO films with 50% and 60% doping concentrations were investigated to provide a high degree of pinned magnetic moments. The measurements reveal a change at the main absorption energy of the spectra, while the signal obtained at the pre-edge stays unaffected by the cooling conditions. Therefore, the pinned uncompensated AFM moments, resulting in an imprinted magnetization, are predominantly of orbital character and are independent of ferromagnetic layers.
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