Spin polarized scanning tunneling microscopy on Fe islands
|Fig. 1: Spin polarized in-plane contrast of Fe-islands of different
thickness deposited on W(110); since the W(110) is covered with a
monolayer of Fe, also the area between the
islands exhibits a contrast.
In order to study ferromagnet/semiconductor interfaces
at a later time, we first investigated magnetic properties
of ferromagnetic islands, which will later be deposited on a
For the sake of simplicity we deposited them on W(110) and
studied them by spin polarized scanning tunneling microscopy
(link to Bode) using tips covered with Cr.
Depending on the thickness of the islands, we found either
monodomain or multidomain states both magnetized in-plane
the multidomain state exhibits a flux closure configuration
as indicated by the arrows in the left image of Fig. 2.
|Fig. 2: Left: in-plane contrast of a single island of 8 nm height
with tentative orientation of the domains indicated; Right: inner area
of an island measured with in-plane (upper) and out-of-plane (lower)
This configuration requires a magnetic vortex in the center
of the island. Theory already perdicted in 1965 that the vortex
core will be avoided by turning the spins out-of plane.
Indeed we found this out-of-plane area by preparing two
different types of tips, which are either in-plane or
out-of-plane sensitive. The upper right image in Fig.2
shows the in-plane contrast in the center of an island,
while the lower right-image shows the out-of-plane contrast.
Obviously, there is an out-of-plane magnetization in the center.
Its shape has been compared to theory under different magnetic
fields and perfectly agreed with the micromagnetic simulations
as displayed in Fig. 3.
|Fig. 3: Distance dependence of out-of-plane intensity measured
from the vortex core at different magnetic fields (lines); the
result of a micromagnetic calculation is shown for comparison (dots).
A. Wachowiak, J. Wiebe, M. Bode, O. Pietzsch, M. Morgenstern, and R. Wiesendanger, Science 298, 577 (2002):
Internal Spin-Structure of Magnetic Vortex Cores observed by Spin-Polarized Scanning Tunneling Microscopy.
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