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Observation of magnetic domain structure and switching in barium ferrite thin films

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4 Author(s)
Yingjian Chen ; Data Storage Syst. Center, Carnegie Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, PA, USA ; Min Xiao ; Jiangang Zhu ; M. H. Kryder

Magnetic domain structure and switching mechanism were investigated in individual barium ferrite grains with sizes ranging from 0.5-7 μm. Magnetic force microscopy (MFM) was used to image grains in sputtered Pt-doped barium ferrite thin films. The switching thresholds of the different grains were measured by applying successively larger magnetic fields to the sample and observing which grains switched. Application of a field to as-annealed samples swept out multidomain structures at a field of Hini≈1000 Oe, which was relatively independent of grain size. It was found that, after the grains had been saturated, a different field Hrev had to be applied to saturate the grain in the opposite direction in large size grains (about 4 μm) Hini≈Hrev; whereas for grains with sizes of 1-3 μm, Hrev varies from approximately equal to Hini to many times larger. Domain wall motion was found to dominate the reversal process in grains larger than 4 μm, as suggested by discontinuous magnetization jumps and an inverse-cosine angular dependence of Hrev. Reversal in grains with sizes between 0.5 and 1 μm is believed to be dominated by incoherent rotation, as indicated by the angular dependence of Hrev

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Magnetics  (Volume:35 ,  Issue: 1 )