NIST logo

Publication Citation: Electron Beam Stimulated Spin Reorientation

NIST Authors in Bold

Author(s): T L. Monchesky; John Unguris; Robert Celotta;
Title: Electron Beam Stimulated Spin Reorientation
Published: May 15, 2003
Abstract: Using Scanning Electron Microscopy with Polarization Analysis (SEMPA), we observed the electron beam induced switching of the magnetic state of epitaxial single-crystal Fe(110) films grown on atomically flat cleaved GaAs(110). For low film thickness the magnetization lies along the [-110] in-plane direction, while above a thickness of 19 monolayers, the ground state magnetization configuration switches to the [001] in-plane direction. If Fe films are grown to a thickness greater than the critical thickness of the reorientation, the magnetization is caught in a metastable state, oriented along [-110]. We discovered that we can locally switch the metastable state to the stable [001] direction by irradiating the metastable magnetic state with a suitable electron current density. The reversal proceeds by the nucleation and growth of lancet-shaped domains that move in discrete jumps between pinning sites. Our results show that there is a permanent reduction of the strength of defect sites without a permanent change in the overall anisotropy. We demonstrate how an electron beam can be used to locally control domain structure.
Citation: Journal of Applied Physics
Volume: 93
Issue: 10
Pages: pp. 8241 - 8243
Keywords: Fe;GaAs(110);magnetic domain wall;SEMPA;spin-reorientation transition
Research Areas: Nanomagnetics