Polarization selection of the reflected radiation has been employed in Mössbauer reflectivity measurements with a synchrotron Mössbauer source (SMS). The polarization of resonantly scattered radiation differs from the polarization of an incident wave so the Mössbauer reflectivity contains a scattering component with 90° rotated polarization relative to the π-polarization of the SMS for some hyperfine transitions. We have shown that the selection of this rotated π→σ component from total reflectivity gives an unusual angular dependence of reflectivity characterized by a peak near the critical angle of the total external reflection. In the case of collinear antiferromagnetic interlayer ordering, the “magnetic” maxima on the reflectivity angular curve are formed practically only by radiation with this rotated polarization. The first experiment on Mössbauer reflectivity with a selection of the rotated polarization discovers the predicted peak near the critical angle. The measurement of the rotated π→σ polarization component in Mössbauer reflectivity spectra excludes the interference with non-resonant electronic scattering and simplifies the spectrum shape near the critical angle allowing for an improved data interpretation in the case of poorly resolved spectra. It is shown that the selected component of Mössbauer reflectivity with rotated polarization is characterized by enhanced surface sensitivity, determined by the “squared standing waves” depth dependence. Therefore, the new approach has interesting perspectives for investigations of surfaces, ultrathin layers and multilayers having complicated magnetic structures.
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