Focused ion-beam milling has been used to fabricate field-ion specimens from a multilayer film structure containing 100 repetitions of a (Cu2 nm/Co2 nm) bilayer deposited directly onto a planar substrate. The as-deposited films showed a magnetoresistance ratio of ∼5% over a 250 Oe range at room temperature, and a coercivity of ∼60 Oe. The magnetic data suggest that the films are coupled ferromagnetically. Successful field-ion specimen preparation has allowed the observation of these layers by field-ion imaging and three-dimensional atom probe compositional analysis. Examination of the multilayer images reveals that, in some regions, the layers are nonparallel, but the interfaces are chemically quite sharp, with a diffuse interface region of ∼3 atomic layers. In addition, in some areas adjacent cobalt layers appear to be in contact. The fact that the layers are wavy suggests that the ferromagnetic coupling may be a result of Néel “orange peel” type magnetostatic coupling between adjacent cobalt layers. The relatively high coercivity may be a result of the poor layer planarity leading to a high number of domain wall pinning sites. © 1998 American Institute of Physics.