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Intrinsic defects in perpendicularly magnetized multilayer thin films and nanostructures



Justin M. Shaw, Miles Olsen, June W. Lau, Michael L. Schneider, Thomas J. Silva, Olav Hellwig, Elizabeth Dobisz, Bruce D. Terris


Intrinsic magnetic defects in perpendicularly magnetized nanostructures reduce the predictability of device and developing recording technologies. In addition to a distribution of local anisotropy fields, we show that such defects also exhibit variations in local anisotropy axes. The magnetic defects are identified by the application of in-plane and out-of-plane magnetic fields and magnetic force microscopy imaging. Those defects that control magnetization reversal in arrays of patterned Co/Pd multilayers are highly dependent on applied field orientation. The symmetry of the defects with respect to the applied field direction indicates that the anisotropy consists of a canted axis, deviating from the surface normal. Micromagnetic simulations confirm that variations in anisotropy axis can cause a significant change in reversal field depending on the location and orientation of the defects, consistent with experimental results.
Physical Review B


Nanomagnetics, magnetic nanostructures, magnetic defects, multilayers, thin films


Shaw, J. , Olsen, M. , Lau, J. , Schneider, M. , Silva, T. , Hellwig, O. , Dobisz, E. and Terris, B. (2010), Intrinsic defects in perpendicularly magnetized multilayer thin films and nanostructures, Physical Review B (Accessed June 23, 2024)


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Created October 26, 2010, Updated February 19, 2017