Fe/V/Fe trilayers with constant-thickness Fe and step-like wedged V sublayers were prepared at room temperature using UHV magnetron sputtering. The bottom Fe layer grows onto oxidised Si(1 0 0) substrate and shows relatively high coercivity. The top Fe layer grows on vanadium spacer and shows considerably lower coercivity. The planar growth of the Fe and V sublayers was confirmed in-situ by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Results show that the Fe sublayers are weakly exchange coupled for dV > 1.4 nm. Results on the coercivity studies as a function of the V interlayer thickness show near dV ∼ 1.95 nm (∼2.45 nm) weak antiferromagnetic (ferromagnetic) coupling, respectively. The hydrogenation of the Fe/V/Fe trilayers leads to increase of the strength of the ferromagnetic interlayer exchange coupling.