Magnetic microscopy and simulation of strain-mediated control of magnetization in Ni/PMN-PT nanostructures
Ian J. Gilbert, Andres C. Chavez, Daniel T. Pierce, John Unguris, Wei-Yang Sun, Cheng-Yen Liang, Gregory P. Carman
Strain-mediated thin film multiferroics comprising piezoelectric/ferromagnetic heterostructures enable the electrical manipulation of magnetization with much greater efficiency than other methods; however, the investigation of nanostructures fabricated from these materials is limited. Here we characterize ferromagnetic Ni nanostructures grown on a ferroelectric PMN-PT substrate using scanning electron microscopy with polarization analysis (SEMPA) and micromagnetic simulations. The magnetization of the Ni nanostructures can be controlled with a combination of sample geometry and applied electric field, which strains the ferroelectric substrate and changes the magnetization via magnetoelastic coupling. We evaluate two types of simulations of ferromagnetic nanostructures on strained ferroelectric substrates: conventional micromagnetic simulations including a simple uniaxial strain, and coupled micromagnetic-elastodynamic simulations. Both simulations qualitatively capture the response of the magnetization changes produced by the applied strain, with the coupled solution providing more accurate representation.