Magnetic microscopy and topological stability of homochiral Néel domain walls in a Pt/Co/AlOx trilayer

Benitez Romero, M.J., Hrabec, A., Mihai, A.P., Moore, T.A., Burnell, G., McGrouther, D. , Marrows, C.H. and McVitie, S. (2015) Magnetic microscopy and topological stability of homochiral Néel domain walls in a Pt/Co/AlOx trilayer. Nature Communications, 6, 8957. (doi:10.1038/ncomms9957) (PMID:26642936) (PMCID:PMC4686874)

Benitez Romero, M.J., Hrabec, A., Mihai, A.P., Moore, T.A., Burnell, G., McGrouther, D. , Marrows, C.H. and McVitie, S. (2015) Magnetic microscopy and topological stability of homochiral Néel domain walls in a Pt/Co/AlOx trilayer. Nature Communications, 6, 8957. (doi:10.1038/ncomms9957) (PMID:26642936) (PMCID:PMC4686874)

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Abstract

We present direct imaging of domain walls in perpendicularly magnetized Pt/Co/AlOx films using Lorentz transmission electron and Kerr microscopy. The Lorentz imaging conditions under which the walls are visible demonstrate that they must have the N´eel form. This is unexpected if only magnetostatics is considered, but is favoured if a strong enough interfacial DzyaloshinskiiMoriya interaction (DMI) is present, which will lead to walls that are homochiral. We find that any independently nucleated pair of walls in our films form winding pairs when they meet that are difficult to annihilate with field, confirming that they all possess the same topological winding number, enforced by the DMI. The field required to annihilate these winding wall pairs is used to give a measure of the DMI strength in our systems. Such domain walls, which are robust against collisions with each other, are good candidates for dense data storage.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McGrouther, Dr Damien and McVitie, Professor Stephen and Benitez Romero, Dr Maria Jose
Authors: Benitez Romero, M.J., Hrabec, A., Mihai, A.P., Moore, T.A., Burnell, G., McGrouther, D., Marrows, C.H., and McVitie, S.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Nature Communications
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2041-1723
ISSN (Online):2041-1723
Published Online:08 December 2015
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 Macmillan Publishers
First Published:First published in Nature Communications 6:8957
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a creative commons license

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
547981Current-Driven Domain Wall Motion in Multilayer NanowiresStephen McvitieEngineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/I013520/1P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY