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Ultrathin Ni films in Cu/Ni/Cu͑001͒ bilayers and exchange coupled Ni films in Ni/Cu/Ni/Cu͑001͒ trilayers are investigated by magnetization induced second harmonic generation ͑MSHG͒. The results are analyzed in a model of localized nonlinear polarizabilities at the interfaces. We show that antiferromagnetic coupling in the Ni/Cu/Ni trilayers is observable with MSHG due to the presence of quantum well states ͑QWS's͒ in the Cu layer. The influence of the QWS's on the SHG from a Ni film in adoi:10.1103/physrevb.63.054401 fatcat:uztkswstbbfy3cc4plc4befgp4