Imaging magnetic domain structure in sub-500 nm thin film elements

Kirk, K.J., McVitie, S. , Chapman, J.N. and Wilkinson, C.D.W. (2001) Imaging magnetic domain structure in sub-500 nm thin film elements. Journal of Applied Physics, 89(11), 7174 -7176. (doi: 10.1063/1.1355336)

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Magnetic imaging in the transmission electron microscope (TEM) has been used to examine submicron elements with the aim of discovering down to what element size complex domain patterns can form. The elements were squares, circles, triangles, and pentagons in the size range 100-500 nm and were made from 36 nm Co films or 8 nm Ni80Fe20 (NiFe) with in-plane magnetization. The magnetic domain structures in these elements were imaged at high resolution using the differential phase contrast imaging mode in a TEM. Nonuniform magnetization structures were seen in the images. Vortices were present at remanence in all shapes of 36-nm-thick Co elements down to 100 nm size and in circular NiFe elements down to 116 nm diameter. Triangular NiFe elements did not have a vortex state at remanence, instead the magnetization curved round within the element but did not achieve complete flux closure. In simulations of square and circular NiFe elements, it was found that defects at the edges of the elements encouraged reversal by a vortex mechanism, whereas for simulated elements with no defects, reversal was by rotation and occurred at much lower fields.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McVitie, Professor Stephen and Wilkinson, Professor Christopher and Kirk, Dr Katherine and Chapman, Professor John
Authors: Kirk, K.J., McVitie, S., Chapman, J.N., and Wilkinson, C.D.W.
Subjects:Q Science > QC Physics
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Journal of Applied Physics

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