Imaging complex domain wall structures in magnetic nanostripes

April 19, 2012

( -- Researchers from the NIST Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology have used the scanning electron microscopy with polarization analysis (SEMPA) technique to provide the first direct images of the magnetic structure of highly twisted domain walls in patterned thin film magnetic nanowires.

This imaging method allows these complex and delicate structures to be easily compared to magnetic simulations, a useful step for developing technology that uses domain walls in nanowires for high storage and for field or current driven magnetic logic.

A typical domain wall separates two opposite regions of magnetization, making it a “180° wall”. The researchers showed that several 180° walls could be injected into a nanowire, where they either annihilated each other or they combined to form complex walls in which the magnetization rotated by up to 540°. The 360° walls were of particular interest, since their magnetic behavior is dramatically different from the 180° walls currently used in prototype memory and logic devices.

The researchers believe that, in addition to providing information about how 180° walls interact in domain wall-based nanowire memories, this work may lead to new magneto-electronic applications using 360° , such as manipulating bits using highly localized magnetic fields in magnetic logic circuits.

Explore further: Spintronics Breakthrough: Negative Resistance of a Single Magnetic Domain Wall Measured

More information: Formation and structure of 360 and 540 degree domain walls in thin magnetic stripes, Y. Jang, S. R. Bowden, M. Mascaro, J. Unguris, and C. A. Ross, Applied Physics Letters 100, 062407 (2012).

Related Stories

Walls falling faster for solid-state memory

June 9, 2010

After running a series of complex computer simulations, researchers have found that flaws in the structure of magnetic nanoscale wires play an important role in determining the operating speed of novel devices using such ...

World's tiniest mirror

August 10, 2010

Just as the path of photons of light can be directed by a mirror, atoms possessing a magnetic moment can be controlled using a magnetic mirror. Research reported in the Journal of Applied Physics investigates the feasibility ...

Recommended for you

Physicists develop new technique to fathom 'smart' materials

November 26, 2015

Physicists from the FOM Foundation and Leiden University have found a way to better understand the properties of manmade 'smart' materials. Their method reveals how stacked layers in such a material work together to bring ...

Mathematicians identify limits to heat flow at the nanoscale

November 24, 2015

How much heat can two bodies exchange without touching? For over a century, scientists have been able to answer this question for virtually any pair of objects in the macroscopic world, from the rate at which a campfire can ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.