Describing the origin of uniaxial magnetic anisotropy (UMA) is generally problematic in systems other than single crystals. We demonstrate an in-plane UMA in amorphous CoFeB films on GaAs(001) which has the expected symmetry of the interface anisotropy in ferromagnetic films on GaAs(001), but strength which is independent of, rather than in inverse proportion to, the film thickness. We show that this volume UMA is consistent with a bond-orientational anisotropy, which propagates the interface-induced UMA through the thickness of the amorphous film. It is explained how, in general, this mechanism may describe the origin of in-plane UMAs in amorphous ferromagnetic films.
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