A report of work in progress to determine the feasibility of imaging the magnetization of ferromagnetic samples with the scanning tunneling microscope (STM) is presented. A vacuum system was designed to test several different proposals as well as to prepare and characterize thin films of magnetic materials by conventional means, including STM. This was begun with an attempt to detect spatially resolved spin-polarization of secondary electrons emitted from the sample when operating the STM in the scanning field emission mode. Results are currently inconclusive, but encouraging. A weak spin-polarization signal has been observed corresponding to one of the in-plane components of magnetization. However, topographic feedthrough has not been fully eliminated as a possible spurious source of contrast.
Citation: Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology B
Pub Type: Journals