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Domain imaging and domain wall propagation in (Ga, Mn)As thin films with tensile strain

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10 Author(s)
Wang, K.Y. ; Hitachi Cambridge Laboratory, Cambridge CB3 0HE, United Kingdom ; Rushforth, A.W. ; Grant, V.A. ; Campion, R.P.
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We have performed spatially resolved polar magneto-optical Kerr effect microscopy measurements on as-grown and annealed Ga0.95Mn0.05As thin films with tensile strain. We find that the films exhibit very strong perpendicular magnetic anisotropy which is increased upon annealing. During magnetic reversal, the domain walls propagate along the direction of surface ripples for the as-grown sample at low temperatures and along the [110] direction for the annealed sample. This indicates that the magnetic domain pattern during reversal is determined by a combination of magnetocrystalline anisotropy and a distribution of pinning sites along the surface ripples that can be altered by annealing. These mechanisms could lead to an effective method of controlling domain wall propagation.

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Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:101 ,  Issue: 10 )