Magnetic nanostructures. Manipulation of magnetic beads. Lab-on-a-chip.
Lab-on-a-chip enables performing biomedical applications (e.g. checking the presence of a bacteria in a sample) in a small chip. Combining magnetic nanostructures and functionalized magnetic particles is one way of achieving this technology.Here we study magnetic nanostructures using magnetic force microscopy and electrical characterization.
Abstract: Magnetic skyrmions are topological spin structures having immense potential for energy efficient spintronic devices. However, observations of skyrmions at room temperature are limited to patterned nanostructures. Here, we report the observation of stable skyrmions in unpatterned Ta/Co2FeAl(CFA)/MgO thin film heterostructures at room temperature and in zero external magnetic field employing magnetic force microscopy. The skyrmions are observed in a trilayer structure comprised of heavy metal (HM)/ferromagnet (FM)/Oxide interfaces which result in strong interfacial Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction (i-DMI) as evidenced by Brillouin light scattering measurements, in agreement with the results of micromagnetic simulations. We also emphasize on room temperature observation of multiple skyrmions which can be stabilized for suitable choices of CFA layer thickness, perpendicular magnetic anisotropy, and i-DMI. These results open up a new paradigm for designing room temperature spintronic devices based on skyrmions in FM continuous thin films.
Pub.: 29 Mar '17, Pinned: 07 Jun '17
Abstract: We demonstrate that the magnetic nanoskyrmion lattice on the Fe monolayer on Ir(111) and the positions of the Fe atoms can be resolved simultaneously using magnetic exchange force microscopy. Thus, the relation between magnetic and atomic structure can be determined straightforwardly by evaluating the Fourier transformation of the real space image data. We further show that the magnetic contrast can be mapped on a Heisenberg-like magnetic interaction between tip and sample spins. Since our imaging technique is based on measuring forces, our observation paves the way to study skyrmions or other complex spin textures on insulating sample systems with atomic resolution.
Pub.: 10 Apr '17, Pinned: 07 Jun '17
Abstract: We present the use of custom-made multilayer (ML) magnetic probes in magnetic force microscopy (MFM) for imaging soft magnetic structures, i.e. nickel submicron disks of different dimensions. One of the main advantages of a custom-made ML probe is that it can be controllably switched between standard (parallel) and low moment (antiparallel) states. We demonstrate that the predicted vortex and stripe domain states in the disks are observed when using the ML probes both in the antiparallel and parallel states. However, while the phase contrast is significantly larger in the parallel state, the images are dominated by strong sample – probe interactions that obscure the image. By comparison of the stripe domain width observed by MFM with the ML probe and those expected from the Kittel model, we show that the resolution of the probe in the AP and P states is ∼30–40 nm, i.e. of the order of the probe geometrical apex and thus approaching the limit of spatial resolution. The ML probes are further compared to the commercial standard and low moment ones, showing that the quality of images obtained with the ML probe is superior to both commercial probes.
Pub.: 28 Mar '17, Pinned: 07 Jun '17
Abstract: A magnetic helix arises in chiral magnets with a wavelength set by the spin-orbit coupling. We show that the helimagnetic order is a nanoscale analog to liquid crystals, exhibiting topological structures and domain walls that are distinctly different from classical magnets. Using magnetic force microscopy and micromagnetic simulations, we demonstrate that - similar to cholesteric liquid crystals - three fundamental types of domain walls are realized in the helimagnet FeGe. We reveal the micromagnetic wall structure and show that they can carry a finite skyrmion charge, permitting coupling to spin currents and contributions to a topological Hall effect. Our study establishes a new class of magnetic nano-objects with non-trivial topology, opening the door to innovative device concepts based on helimagnetic domain walls.
Pub.: 20 Apr '17, Pinned: 07 Jun '17
Abstract: Since the invention of the atomic force microscope (AFM) in 1986, there has been a drive to apply this scanning probe technique or a form of this technique to various disciplines in nanoscale science. Magnetic force microscopy (MFM) is a member of a growing family of scanning probe methods and has been widely used for the study of magnetic materials. In MFM a magnetic probe is used to raster-scan the surface of the sample, of which its magnetic field interacts with the magnetic tip to offer insight into its magnetic properties. This review will focus on the use of MFM in relation to nanoparticle characterization, including superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles, covering MFM imaging in air and in liquid environments.
Pub.: 26 Apr '17, Pinned: 07 Jun '17
Abstract: Harnessing the properties of vortices in superconductors is crucial for fundamental science as well as technological applications; thus, it has been an ongoing goal to develop experimental techniques that can locally probe and control vortices. Here, we present a scanning probe technique that enables studies of vortex dynamics in superconducting systems by leveraging the resonant behavior of a raster-scanned, magnetic-tipped cantilever. Key features of this experimental platform are the high degree of tunability and the local nature of the probe. Applying this technique to lattices of superconductor island arrays on a metal, we obtain a variety of striking spatial patterns that encode information about the energy landscape for vortices in the system. We interpret these patterns in terms of local vortex dynamics, and extract the relative strengths of the characteristic energy scales in the system, such as the vortex-magnetic field and vortex-vortex interaction strengths, as well as the vortex chemical potential. We also demonstrate that the relative strengths of the interactions can be tuned. This experimental setup has the potential for future applications in more complex systems, as well as in the manipulation of vortex-bound Majorana fermions for quantum computation.
Pub.: 24 May '17, Pinned: 07 Jun '17
Abstract: A recently reported transition in the electrical resistance of different natural graphite samples suggests the existence of superconductivity at room temperature. To check whether dissipationless electrical currents are responsible for the trapped magnetic flux inferred from electrical resistance measurements, we localized them using magnetic force microscopy on a natural graphite sample in remanent state after applying a magnetic field. The obtained evidence indicates that at room temperature a permanent current flows at the border of the trapped flux region. The current path vanishes at the same transition temperature $T_c \simeq 370~$K as the one obtained from electrical resistance measurements on the same sample. The overall results support the existence of room-temperature superconductivity at certain regions in the graphite structure and show that the used method is suitable to localize the superconducting regions.
Pub.: 28 May '17, Pinned: 07 Jun '17