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Effects of pixel groove depth and patterned permalloy assist film for the magnetization switching of LPE-garnet film were studied experimentally. The results showed that the magnetization field to switch a structured pixel could be reduced by controlling the pixel groove depth. It was also found that the permalloy assist film creates a unique pair-domain pattern within a single garnet pixel, which is useful for realizing a new type of magneto-optic spatial light modulator with high resistivity to noise. © 2002 American Institute of Physics.