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Geometric coercivity scaling in magnetic thin film antidot arrays

Geometric coercivity scaling in magnetic thin film antidot arrays

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Published by Mehdi Naderi
Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials 242–245 (2002) 597–600

Geometric coercivity scaling in magnetic thin film antidot arrays
I. Ruiz-Feala, L. Lopez-Diaza, A. Hirohataa, J. Rothmana, C.M. Guertlera, J.A.C. Blanda,*, L.M. Garciab, J.M. Torresb, J. Bartolomeb, F. Bartolomeb, M. Natalic, D. Decaninic, Y. Chenc
b

Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 OHE, UK Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Aragon, CSIC-Universidad de Zaragoza. 50009 Zaragoza, Spa
Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials 242–245 (2002) 597–600

Geometric coercivity scaling in magnetic thin film antidot arrays
I. Ruiz-Feala, L. Lopez-Diaza, A. Hirohataa, J. Rothmana, C.M. Guertlera, J.A.C. Blanda,*, L.M. Garciab, J.M. Torresb, J. Bartolomeb, F. Bartolomeb, M. Natalic, D. Decaninic, Y. Chenc
b

Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 OHE, UK Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Aragon, CSIC-Universidad de Zaragoza. 50009 Zaragoza, Spa

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Published by: Mehdi Naderi on Feb 14, 2012
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Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials 242–245 (2002) 597–600
Geometric coercivity scaling in magnetic thin filmantidot arrays
I. Ruiz-Feal
a
, L. Lopez-Diaz
a
, A. Hirohata
a
, J. Rothman
a
, C.M. Guertler
a
,J.A.C. Bland
a,
*, L.M. Garcia
b
, J.M. Torres
b
, J. Bartolome
b
, F. Bartolome
b
,M. Natali
c
, D. Decanini
c
, Y. Chen
c
a
Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 OHE, UK 
b
Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Aragon, CSIC-Universidad de Zaragoza. 50009 Zaragoza, Spain
c
L2M Laboratories-CNRS, 196 Avenue Henry Ravera, 92225 Bagneux Cedex, France
Abstract
We have investigated the magnetic properties of periodic arrays of circular antidots fabricated from epitaxial Fe/GaAs(001) thin films using magnetic force microscopy, micromagnetic simulations, and AGFM and SQUIDmagnetometry. A linear dependence between the coercivity of the film and geometrical array parameters has been foundsuggesting a way to engineer the coercive field in ferromagnetic thin films.
r
2002 Published by Elsevier Science B.V.
Keywords:
Nanoparticles; Coercivity; Domain pattern
During the last few years there has been much interestin artificially engineering, the magnetic properties of thinfilms using novel micron and sub-micron lithographictechniques. Previous theoretical and experimental stu-dies [1–4] suggest that the magnetic properties of magnetic films can be controlled by artificially producedarrays of holes (antidots). In this work, we discuss themagnetic properties of epitaxial Fe/GaAs(001) filmsstructured into periodic 2-D circular antidot arrays of varying size and separations.A 30nm epitaxial Fe(001) lm was grown onGaAs(001) using molecular beam epitaxy (MBE)techniques [5]. Four antidot arrays (diameter
D
¼
1and 2
m
m, and periodicity
l
¼
1
:
1
D
and 2
D
) were thenpatterned into this film using X-ray lithographytechniques [6]. The array axes were oriented at 45
1
withrespect to the crystallographic easy axes, i.e. thecrystallographic [100] of the Fe corresponds to the[011] direction of the array.The magnetic moment of the sample parallel to theapplied magnetic field was measured with an alternatinggradient field magnetometer (AGFM) [8] and a com-mercial SQUID MPMS5 QUANTUM DESING. TheFe antidot structures were observed in the remanentstate by magnetic force microscopy (MFM) togetherwith atomic force microscopy (AFM) with resoltion of 100 and 10nm, respectively [7]. Micromagnetic simula-tions were carried out in order to investigate themagnetisation configurations induced by the antidots.The computational region, of dimensions
l
Â
l
Â
t
;
corresponds to one period (
l
) and thickness (
t
) of thearray and periodic boundary conditions were imposed.This computational region was discretised in a two-dimensional square mesh and the equilibrium equationwas solved numerically in order to find the equilibriumconfiguration for a given applied field. A conjugategradient solver was used. Typical parameters of bulk Feat room temperature have been used.Fig. 1 shows MFM images of the remanent statesafter saturation along the easy (a) and hard (c)magnetocrystalline axes, respectively. These images arecompared with the remanent states computed bymicromagnetic simulations after saturation along the
*Corresponding author: Tel.: +44-1223-337436; fax: +44-1223-350266.
E-mail address:
jacb1@phy.cam.ac.uk (J.A.C. Bland).0304-8853/02/$-see front matter
r
2002 Published by Elsevier Science B.V.PII: S 0304 -8853(01 )0 1108-8
 
easy (b) and hard (d) axes as well. An excellentagreement between both images can be seen. Similardomain configurations to the one in Fig. 1(a) have beenfound for antidot systems in permalloy films [3] in whichno relevant magnetic anisotropies were present. Theones shown in this work show a more clear domainconfiguration because the magnetic anisotropies sharpenthe domain walls.Fig. 2 shows AGFM hysteresis loops of all arrays. Adouble switch reversal mechanism is seen in all cases. Inthe easy axis measurements, a first jump occurs atapproximately the coercive field of the un-patterned Fefilm. The samples remain at approximately the samemagnetisation value when the field is increased until asecond jump occurs and the sample is saturated.Equivalent features are seen in the hard axis but withan additional rotation at high fields. The magnetic fieldof the first jump is approximately the same in allsamples, whereas the field at which the second jump islaunched depends on the sample. The magnetisationvalue of the intermediate stable state in the samples with
l
¼
D
is approximately the same (0
:
72
s
), and the samehappens for samples with
l
¼
0
:
1
D
but with a differentvalue (0
:
86
s
). SQUID measurements also performedshow the same results.The samples consisted of a 2
Â
2 mm
2
Fe film, inwhich an area of 0
:
8
Â
0
:
8 mm
2
was patterned withantidots. This means that 16% of the area of the samplewas a patterned region, and 84% un-patterned. In thepatterned region, 19.6% of the Fe was removed forsamples with
l
¼
2
D
;
and that number was 64.9% forsamples with
l
¼
1
:
1
D
:
Thus, for samples with
l
¼
2
D
;
13% of the magnetic moment comes from the patternedregion, whereas this number is 6.3% for samples with
l
¼
1
:
1
D
:
Using samples with
l
¼
2
D
as an example, if only the un-patterned region had reversed, the measuredmagnetisation would be
ð
1
À
2
Â
0
:
13
Þ
s
¼
0
:
74
s
:
For samples with
l
¼
1
:
1
D
this number is 0
:
87
s
:
Bothnumbers reasonably agree with measurements. Thesevalues correspond with the magnetisation that would bemeasured if only the un-patterned film that surroundsthe antidots had reversed. Therefore, we can concludethat the first jump in the hysteresis loop is due to thereversal of the un-patterned film that surrounds the areawith the antidots, and the second one is due to thecentral area of the samples, highly influenced by theantidot array.The contribution of the patterned area to thehysteresis loops was studied by subtracting from easyaxis AGFM hysteresis loops a loop obtained from anun-patterned sample. After these subtractions it wasseen that the coercive field (
n
c
) of the patterned areaincreases as the antidot size and the periodicity of thearray decrease. We have investigated phenomenologicallaws that describe the geometry of the array by onesingle parameter. We have found that the coercive fieldis approximately linearly dependent on 1
=
ð
l
À
D
Þ
:
Thisresult is shown in Fig. 3. A fundamental explanation forthis phenomenological law is beyond the scope of thiswork. Nevertheless,
l
À
D
is the separation betweenclosest antidots. Both the dipolar field and the pinningeffects of the antidots are expected to be stronger thecloser the antidots are. Therefore, the higher 1
=
ð
l
À
D
Þ
is, the higher the external field necessary to overcome thedipolar fields and the domain wall pinning effects alongthe antidot sample. Equivalent phenomenological laws,in which coercivity is proportional to
t
=
x
;
where
t
represents the thickness of the film and
x
a lengthparameter of the magnetic nanostructure, have beenfound for both dots [9] and wires [10].In conclusion, we have studied the magneticproperties of antidot arrays patterned on epitaxialFe/GaAs(001) thin lms. The presence of theantidots leads to the formation of well-defineddomain configurations that would determine the mag-netisation reversal of the system. A phenomenologicallinear relationship between the coercive field of theantidots and the geometrical array parameters(1
=
ð
l
À
D
Þ
) has been found. This opens the possibilityof creating ferromagnetic films with a desired coercivefield; i.e. engineering the coercive field of a ferromag-netic film.The authors would like to thank the EuropeanCommission for financial support under the MarieCurie Scheme, 4th framework program, contract num-
Fig. 1. MFM (a,c) and micromagnetic simulations (b,d) imagesof the remanent state after saturation along magneto-crystal-lographic easy (a,b) and hard (c,d) axes.
I. Ruiz-Feal et al. / Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials 242–245 (2002) 597–600
598
 
Fig. 2. AGFM measurements of all the samples, both along easy (a,c,e,g) and hard (b,d,f,h) axes.
I. Ruiz-Feal et al. / Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials 242–245 (2002) 597–600
599

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