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High-speed high spatial resolution magneto-optic Kerr effect polarimeter/microscope for studies of ultrathin magnetic structures

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2 Author(s)
Heidkamp, Marcus ; Physics Department, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712 ; Erskine, J.L.

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A magneto-optic Kerr effect polarimeter designed to study the dynamics of magnetization reversal in ultrathin films, multilayer films, and microstructures is described. The polarimeter is integrated into a long focal-length charge coupled device (CCD) camera based Kerr microscope that permits viewing domain structures and facilitates positioning of the focused polarimeter beam on microstructures in ultrahigh vacuum. Diffraction-limited spatial resolution, based on the f-number of the respective objective lenses, is achieved by the microscope (∼1 μm) and polarimeter (∼5 μm). The polarimeter is capable of measuring continuous wave or repetitive transient ultrathin film magnetic response at sampling rates of 40 million samples/s (MS/s) over a micron-scale region defined by the illuminating spot. Hysteresis loops generated by ultrathin (monolayer) films and microstructures can be measured at high signal-to-noise ratio over a nine-decade range of drive frequencies. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.

Published in:

Review of Scientific Instruments  (Volume:71 ,  Issue: 8 )