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Viewing spin structures with soft x-ray microscopy

Description: The spin of the electron and its associated magnetic moment marks the basic unit for magnetic properties of matter. Magnetism, in particular ferromagnetism and antiferromagnetism is described by a collective order of these spins, where the interaction between individual spins reflects a competition between exchange, anisotropy and dipolar energy terms. As a result the energetically favored ground state of a ferromagnetic system is a rather complex spin configuration, the magnetic domain structure. Magnetism is one of the eldest scientific phenomena, yet it is one of the most powerful and versatile utilized physical effects in modern technologies, such as in magnetic storage and sensor devices. To achieve highest storage density, the relevant length scales, such as the bit size in disk drives is now approaching the nanoscale and as such further developments have to deal with nanoscience phenomena. Advanced characterization tools are required to fully understand the underlying physical principles. Magnetic microscopes using polarized soft X-rays offer a close-up view into magnetism with unique features, these include elemental sensitivity due to X-ray magnetic dichroism effects as contrast mechanism, high spatial resolution provided by state-of-the-art X-ray optics and fast time resolution limited by the inherent time structure of current X-ray sources, which will be overcome with the introduction of ultrafast and high brilliant X-ray sources.
Date: June 1, 2010
Creator: Fischer, Peter
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Soft x-ray microscopy - a powerful analytical tool to image magnetism down to fundamental length and times scales

Description: The magnetic properties of low dimensional solid state matter is of the utmost interest both scientifically as well as technologically. In addition to the charge of the electron which is the base for current electronics, by taking into account the spin degree of freedom in future spintronics applications open a new avenue. Progress towards a better physical understanding of the mechanism and principles involved as well as potential applications of nanomagnetic devices can only be achieved with advanced analytical tools. Soft X-ray microscopy providing a spatial resolution towards 10nm, a time resolution currently in the sub-ns regime and inherent elemental sensitivity is a very promising technique for that. This article reviews the recent achievements of magnetic soft X-ray microscopy by selected examples of spin torque phenomena, stochastical behavior on the nanoscale and spin dynamics in magnetic nanopatterns. The future potential with regard to addressing fundamental magnetic length and time scales, e.g. imaging fsec spin dynamics at upcoming X-ray sources is pointed out.
Date: August 1, 2008
Creator: Fischer, Peter
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Direct observation of stochastic domain-wall depinning in magnetic nanowires

Description: The stochastic field-driven depinning of a domain wall pinned at a notch in a magnetic nanowire is directly observed using magnetic X-ray microscopy with high lateral resolution down to 15 nm. The depinning-field distribution in Ni{sub 80}Fe{sub 20} nanowires considerably depends on the wire width and the notch depth. The difference in the multiplicity of domain-wall types generated in the vicinity of a notch is responsible for the observed dependence of the stochastic nature of the domain wall depinning field on the wire width and the notch depth. Thus the random nature of the domain wall depinning process is controllable by an appropriate design of the nanowire.
Date: November 1, 2008
Creator: Im, Mi-Young; Bocklage, Lars; Fischer, Peter & Meier, Guido
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Studying Nanoscale Magnetism and its Dynamics with Soft X-ray Microscopy

Description: Magnetic soft X-ray microscopy allows for imaging magnetic structures at a spatial resolution down to 15nm and a time resolution in the sub-100ps regime. Inherent elemental specificity can be used to image the magnetic response of individual components such as layers in multilayered systems. This review highlights current achievements and discusses the future potential of magnetic soft X-ray microscopy at fsec X-ray sources where snapshot images of ultrafast spin dynamics with a spatial resolution below 10nm will become feasible.
Date: May 1, 2008
Creator: Mccall, Monnikue M & Fischer, Peter
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Statistical Behavior of Formation Process of Magnetic Vortex State in Ni80Fe20 Nanodisks

Description: Magnetic vortices in magnetic nanodots, which are characterized by an in-plane (chirality) and an out-of-plane (polarity) magnetizations, have been intensively attracted because of their high potential for technological application to data storage and memory scheme as well as their scientific interest for an understanding of fundamental physics in magnetic nanostructures. Complete understanding of the formation process of vortex state in magnetic vortex systems is very significant issue to achieve storage and memory technologies using magnetic vortices and understand intrinsic physical properties in magnetic nanostructures. In our work, we have statistically investigated the formation process of vortex state in permalloy (Py, Ni{sub 80}Fe{sub 20}) nanodisks through the direct observation of vortex structure utilizing a magnetic transmission soft X-ray microscopy (MTXM) with a high spatial resolution down to 20 nm. Magnetic imaging in Py nanodots was performed at the Fe L{sub 3} (707 eV) absorption edge. Figure 1 shows in-plane and out-of-plane magnetic components observed in 40 nm thick nanodot arrays with different dot radius of r = 500 and 400 nm, respectively. Vortex chirality, either clockwise (CW) or counter-clockwise (CCW), and polarity, either up or down, are clearly visible in both arrays. To investigate the statistical behavior in formation process of the vortex state, the observation of vortex structure at a remanant state after saturation of nanodots by an external magnetic field of 1 kOe has been repeatedly performed over 100 times for each array. The typical MTXM images of vortex chirality taken in two successive measurements together with their overlapped images in nanodot arrays of r = 500 and 400 nm are displayed in Fig. 2. Within the statistical measurement, the formation process of chirality of either CW or CCW is quite stochastic in each nanodot. Similar behavior is also witnessed in the formation of vortex polarity observed in consecutive ...
Date: January 14, 2011
Creator: Im, Mi-Young; Fischer, Peter; Keisuke, Yamada & Kasai, Shinya
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Soft X-Ray Imaging of spin dynamics at high spatial and temporalresolution

Description: Soft X-ray microscopy provides element specific magnetic imaging with a spatial resolution down to 15nm. At XM-1, the full-field soft X-ray microscope at the Advanced Light Source in Berkeley, a stroboscopic pump and probe setup has been developed to study fast magnetization dynamics in ferromagnetic elements with a time resolution of 70ps which is set by the width of the X-ray pulses from the synchrotron. Results obtained with a 2 {micro}m x 4 {micro}m x 45nm rectangular permalloy sample exhibiting a seven domain Landau pattern reveal dynamics up to several nsec after the exciting magnetic field pulse. Domain wall motion, a gyrotropic vortex motion, and a coupling between vortices in the rectangular geometry are observed.
Date: June 1, 2007
Creator: Mesler, Brooke L.; Fischer, Peter; Chao, Weilun & Anderson, Erik H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Towards sub-10 nm resolution zone plates using the overlaynanofabrication processes

Description: Soft x-ray zone plate microscopy has proven to be a valuable imaging technique for nanoscale studies. It complements nano-analytic techniques such as electron and scanning probe microscopies. One of its key features is high spatial resolution. We developed an overlay nanofabrication process which allows zone plates of sub-20 nm zone widths to be fabricated. Zone plates of 15 nm outer zones were successfully realized using this process, and sub-15 nm resolution was achieved with these zone plates. We extend the overlay process to fabricating zone plates of 12 nm outer zones, which is expected to achieve 10 nm resolution. In addition, we have identified a pathway to realizing sub-10 nm resolution, high efficiency zone plates with tilted zones using the overlay process.
Date: January 23, 2008
Creator: Chao, Weilun; Anderson, Erik H.; Fischer, Peter & Kim, Dong-Hyun
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Reflection Mode Imaging with High Resolution X-rayMicroscopy

Description: We report on the first demonstration of imaging microstructures with soft x-ray microscopy operating in reflection geometry. X-ray microscopy in reflection mode combines the high resolution available with x-ray optics, the ability to image thick samples, and to directly image surfaces and interfaces. Future experiments with this geometry will include tuning the incident angle to obtain depth resolution. In combination with XMCD as magnetic contrast mechanism this mode will allow studies of deep buried magnetic interfaces.
Date: April 2, 2005
Creator: Denbeaux, Greg; Fischer, Peter; Salmassi, Farhad; Dunn, Kathleen & Evertsen, James
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Finite size effect on spread of resonance frequencies in arrays of coupled vortices

Description: Dynamical properties of magnetic vortices in arrays of magnetostatically coupled ferromagnetic disks are studied by means of a broadband ferromagnetic-resonance (FMR) setup. Magnetic force microscopy and magnetic transmission soft X-ray microscopy are used to image the core polarizations and the chiralities which are both found to be randomly distributed. The resonance frequency of vortex-core motion strongly depends on the magnetostatic coupling between the disks. The parameter describing the relative broadening of the absorption peak observed in the FMR transmission spectra for a given normalized center-to-center distance between the elements is shown to depend on the size of the array.
Date: January 25, 2011
Creator: Vogel, Andreas; Drews, André; Im, Mi-Young; Fischer, Peter & Meier, Guido
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Time-resolved imaging of current-induced domain-wall oscillations

Description: Current-induced domain-wall dynamics is investigated via high-resolution soft x-ray transmission microscopy by a stroboscopic pump-and-probe measurement scheme at a temporal resolution of 200 ps. A 180{sup o} domain wall in a restoring potential of a permalloy microstructure is displaced from its equilibrium position by nanosecond current pulses leading to oscillations with velocities up to 325 m/s. The motion of the wall is described with an analytical model of a rigid domain wall in a nonharmonic potential allowing one to determine the mass of the domain wall. We show that Oersted fields dominate the domain-wall dynamics in our geometry.
Date: October 7, 2008
Creator: Bocklage, Lars; Krueger, Benjamin; Eiselt, Rene; Bolte, Markus; Fischer, Peter & Meier, Guido
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Real space soft x-ray imaging at 10 nm spatial resolution

Description: Using Fresnel zone plates made with our robust nanofabrication processes, we have successfully achieved 10 nm spatial resolution with soft x-ray microscopy. The result, obtained with both a conventional full-field and scanning soft x-ray microscope, marks a significant step forward in extending the microscopy to truly nanoscale studies.
Date: April 24, 2011
Creator: Chao, Weilun; Fischer, Peter; Tyliszczak, T.; Rekawa, Senajith; Anderson, Erik & Naulleau, Patrick
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Scaling Behavior of Barkhausen Avalanches along the Hysteresis loop in Nucleation-Mediated Magnetization Reversal Process

Description: We report the scaling behavior of Barkhausen avalanches for every small field step along the hysteresis loop in CoCrPt alloy film having perpendicular magnetic anisotropy. Individual Barkhausen avalanche is directly observed utilizing a high-resolution soft X-ray microscopy that provides real space images with a spatial resolution of 15 nm. Barkhausen avalanches are found to exhibit power-law scaling behavior at all field steps along the hysteresis loop, despite their different patterns for each field step. Surprisingly, the scaling exponent of the power-law distribution of Barkhausen avalanches is abruptly altered from 1 {+-} 0.04 to 1.47 {+-} 0.03 as the field step is close to the coercive field. The contribution of coupling among adjacent domains to Barkhausen avalanche process affects the sudden change of the scaling behavior observed at the coercivity-field region on the hysteresis loop of CoCrPt alloy film.
Date: October 14, 2008
Creator: Im, Mi-Young; Fischer, Peter; Kim, D.-H. & Shin, S.-C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Scaling behavior of individual barkhausen avalanches in nucleation-mediated magnetization reversal processes

Description: We report the scaling behavior of Barkhausen avalanches along the hysteresis loop of a CoCrPt alloy film with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy for every field step of 200 Oe. Individual Barkhausen avalanches are directly observed via high-resolution soft X-ray microscopy with a spatial resolution of 15 nm. The Barkhausen avalanches exhibit a power-law scaling behavior, where the scaling exponent of the power-law distribution drastically changes from 1 {+-} 0.04 to 1.47 {+-} 0.03 as the applied magnetic field approaches the coercivity of the CoCrPt film. We infer that this is due to the coupling of adjacent domains.
Date: November 9, 2009
Creator: Im, Mi-Young; Fischer, Peter; Kim, Dong-Hyun & Shin, Sung-Chul
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

HSQ double patterning process for 12 nm resolution x-ray zone plates

Description: Soft x-ray zone plate microscopy is a powerful nano-analytic technique used for a wide variety of scientific and technological studies. Pushing its spatial resolution to 10 nm and below is highly desired and feasible due to the short wavelength of soft x-rays. Instruments using Fresnel zone plate lenses achieve a spatial resolution approximately equal to the smallest, outer most zone width. We developed a double patterning zone plate fabrication process based on a high-resolution resist, hydrogen silsesquioxane (HSQ), to bypass the limitations of conventional single exposure fabrication to pattern density, such as finite beam size, scattering in resist and modest intrinsic resist contrast. To fabricate HSQ structures with zone widths in the order of 10 nm on gold plating base, a surface conditioning process with (3-mercaptopropyl) trimethoxysilane, 3-MPT, is used, which forms a homogeneous hydroxylation surface on gold surface and provides good anchoring for the desired HSQ structures. Using the new HSQ double patterning process, coupled with an internally developed, sub-pixel alignment algorithm, we have successfully fabricated in-house gold zone plates of 12 nm outer zones. Promising results for 10 nm zone plates have also been obtained. With the 12 nm zone plates, we have achieved a resolution of 12 nm using the full-field soft x-ray microscope, XM-1.
Date: June 16, 2009
Creator: Chao, Weilun; Kim, Jihoon; Rekawa, Senajith; Fischer, Peter & Anderson, Erik H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Characterizing the Nano and Micro Structure of Concrete toImprove its Durability

Description: New and advanced methodologies have been developed to characterize the nano and microstructure of cement paste and concrete exposed to aggressive environments. High resolution full-field soft X-ray imaging in the water window is providing new insight on the nano scale of the cement hydration process, which leads to a nano-optimization of cement-based systems. Hard X-ray microtomography images of ice inside cement paste and cracking caused by the alkali?silica reaction (ASR) enables three-dimensional structural identification. The potential of neutron diffraction to determine reactive aggregates by measuring their residual strains and preferred orientation is studied. Results of experiments using these tools are shown on this paper.
Date: January 13, 2009
Creator: Monteiro, P.J.M.; Kirchheim, A.P.; Chae, S.; Fischer, Peter; MacDowell, Alastair; Schaible, Eirc et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Double patterning HSQ processes of zone plates for 10 nm diffraction limitedperformance

Description: In e-beam lithography, fabrication of sub-20 nm dense structures is challenging. While there is a constant effort to develop higher resolution resist processes, the progress of increasing pattern density is slow. For zone plates, consisting of dense lines and spaces, the outermost zone width has been limited to slightly less than 20 nm due to effects such as low aerial image contrast, forward scattering, intrinsic resist resolution, and development issues. To circumvent these effects, we have successfully developed a new double patterning HSQ process, and as a result, we have fabricated zone plates of 10 and 12 nm using the process. We previously developed a double patterning process in which a dense zone plate pattern is sub-divided into two semi-isolated, complementary zone set patterns. These patterns are fabricated separately and then overlaid with high accuracy to yield the desired pattern. The key to success with this process is the accuracy of the overlay. For diffraction-limited zone plates, accuracy better than one-third of the smallest zone width is needed. In our previous work, the zone set patterns were formed using PMMA and gold electroplating, which were overlaid and aligned to the zero-level mark layer with sub-pixel accuracy using our internally developed algorithm. The complete zone plate fabrication was conducted in-house. With this process, we successfully fabricated zone plates of 15 nm outermost zone. Using this zone plate, we were able to achieve sub-15 nm resolution at 1.52 nm wavelength, the highest resolution ever demonstrated in optical microscopy at that time. We attempted to extend the process to fabricating 12 nm and smaller zones. However, the modest PMMA contrast, combined with a relatively large electron beam size compared to the target feature sized limited the process latitude. To overcome this problem, we developed a new overlay process based on high resolution negative ...
Date: January 9, 2009
Creator: Chao, Weilun; Kim, Jihoon; Anderson, Erik H.; Fischer, Peter; Rekawa, Senajith & Attwood, David T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Field driven ferromagnetic phase evolution originating from the domain boundaries in antiferromagnetically coupled perpendicular anitsotropy films

Description: Strong perpendicular anisotropy systems consisting of Co/Pt multilayer stacks that are antiferromagnetically coupled via thin Ru or NiO layers have been used as model systems to study the competition between local interlayer exchange and long-range dipolar interactions [1,2]. Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM) studies of such systems reveal complex magnetic configurations with a mix of antiferromagnetic (AF) and ferromagnetic (FM) phases. However, MFM allows detecting surface stray fields only and can interact strongly with the magnetic structure of the sample, thus altering the original domain configuration of interest [3,4]. In the current study they combine magnetometry and state-of-the-art soft X-ray transmission microscopy (MXTM) to investigate the external field driven FM phase evolution originating from the domain boundaries in such antiferromagnetically coupled perpendicular anisotropy films. MXTM allows directly imaging the perpendicular component of the magnetization in an external field at sub 100 nm spatial resolution without disturbing the magnetic state of the sample [5,6]. Here they compare the domain evolution for two similar [Co(4{angstrom})/Pt(7{angstrom})]x-1/{l_brace}Co(4{angstrom})/Ru(9{angstrom})/[Co(4{angstrom})/Pt(7{angstrom})]x-1{r_brace}16 samples with slightly different Co/Pt stack thickness, i.e. slightly different strength of internal dipolar fields. After demagnetization they obtain AF domains with either sharp AF domain walls for the thinner multilayer stacks or 'tiger-tail' domain walls (one dimensional FM phase) for the thicker stacks. When increasing the external field strength the sharp domain walls in the tinner stack sample transform into the one-dimensional FM phase, which then serves as nucleation site for further FM stripe domains that spread out into all directions to drive the system towards saturation. Energy calculations reveal the subtle difference between the two samples and help to understand the observed transition, when applying an external field.
Date: May 1, 2008
Creator: Jones, Juanita; Hauet, Thomas; Gunther, Christian; Hovorka, Ondrej; Berger, Andreas; Im, Mi-Young et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Field driven ferromagnetic phase nucleation and propagation from the domain boundaries in antiferromagnetically coupled perpendicular anisotropy films

Description: We investigate the reversal process in antiferromagnetically coupled [Co/Pt]{sub X-1}/{l_brace}Co/Ru/[Co/Pt]{sub X-1}{r_brace}{sub 16} multilayer films by combining magnetometry and Magnetic soft X-ray Transmission Microscopy (MXTM). After out-of-plane demagnetization, a stable one dimensional ferromagnetic (FM) stripe domain phase (tiger-tail phase) for a thick stack sample (X=7 is obtained), while metastable sharp antiferromagnetic (AF) domain walls are observed in the remanent state for a thinner stack sample (X=6). When applying an external magnetic field the sharp domain walls of the thinner stack sample transform at a certain threshold field into the FM stripe domain wall phase. We present magnetic energy calculations that reveal the underlying energetics driving the overall reversal mechanisms.
Date: December 9, 2008
Creator: Hauet, Thomas; Gunther, Christian M.; Hovorka, Ondrej; Berger, Andreas; Im, Mi-Young; Fischer, Peter et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Soft X-Ray Magnetic Imaging of Focused Ion Beam Lithographically Patterned Fe Thin Films

Description: We illustrate the potential of modifying the magnetic behavior and structural properties of ferromagnetic thin films using focused ion beam 'direct-write' lithography. Patterns inspired by the split-ring resonators often used as components in meta-materials were defined upon 15 nm Fe films using a 30 keV Ga{sup +} focused ion beam at a dose of 2 x 10{sup 16} ions cm{sup -2}. Structural, chemical and magnetic changes to the Fe were studied using transmission soft X-ray microscopy at the ALS, Berkeley CA. X-ray absorption spectra showed a 23% reduction in the thickness of the film in the Ga irradiated areas, but no change to the chemical environment of Fe was evident. X-ray images of the magnetic reversal process show domain wall pinning around the implanted areas, resulting in an overall increase in the coercivity of the film. Transmission electron microscopy showed significant grain growth in the implanted regions.
Date: November 9, 2008
Creator: Cook, Paul J.; Shen, Tichan H.; Grundy, PhilJ.; Im, Mi Young; Fischer, Peter; Morton, Simon A. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Stochastic nature of domain nucleation process in magnetization reversal

Description: Whether domain configurations that occur during magnetization reversal processes on a nanoscale are deterministic or nondeterministic is both fundamentally of great interest and technologically of utmost relevance[1]. However, due to the limited spatial resolution of the microscopic measurement techniques employed so far, no direct observation on the stochastic behavior of local domain nucleation during magnetization reversal in real space at the nanometer scale has yet been reported. In this work, we have investigated a stochastic nature of domain nucleation process during magnetization reversal by utilizing magnetic soft X-ray transmission microscopy with high spatial resolution of 15 nm [2]. The sample used in our study is CoCrPt alloy film,which is the promising candidate for high-density perpendicular magnetic recording media. Typical domain configurations of (Co{sub 83}Cr{sub 17}){sub 87}Pt{sub 13} taken at an applied magnetic field of 383 Oe during three successive hysteretic cycles are illustrated in Fig. 1. Interestingly enough, one clearly notes that the domain nucleation process of CoCrPt alloy film is not deterministic, but stochastic for repeated hysteretic cycles. The stochastic nature was quantitatively confirmed by correlation coefficient, where the correlation coefficients increase as magnetization reversal was progressed. Nanomagnetic simulations considering thermal fluctuations of the magnetic moments of the grains explains the stochastic nature of the domain nucleation behavior observed in CoCrPt alloy film.
Date: June 1, 2007
Creator: Im, Mi-Young; Lee, S.-H.; Kim, D.-H.; Fischer, Peter & Shin, S.-C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Probing the spin polarization of current by soft x-ray imaging of current-induced magnetic vortex dynamics

Description: Time-resolved soft X-ray transmission microscopy is applied to image the current-induced resonant dynamics of the magnetic vortex core realized in a micron-sized Permalloy disk. The high spatial resolution better than 25 nm enables us to observe the resonant motion of the vortex core. The result also provides the spin polarization of the current to be 0.67 {+-} 0.16 for Permalloy by fitting the experimental results with an analytical model in the framework of the spin-transfer torque.
Date: December 9, 2008
Creator: Kasai, Shinya; Fischer, Peter; Im, Mi-Young; Yamada, Keisuke; Nakatani, Yoshinobu; Kobayashi, Kensuke et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Nonlinear motion of coupled magnetic vortices in ferromagnetic/non-magnetic/ferromagnetic trilayer

Description: We have investigated a coupled motion of two vortex cores in ferromagnetic/nonmagnetic/ferromagnetic trilayer cynliders by means of micromagnetic simulation. Dynamic motion of two vortex with parallel and antiparallel relative chiralities of curling spins around the vortex cores have been examined after excitation by 1-ns pulsed external field. With systematic variation in non-magnetic spacer layer thickness from 0 to 20 nm, the coupling between two cores becomes significant as the spacer becomes thinner. Significant coupling leads to a nonlinear chaotic coupled motion of two vortex cores for the parallel chiralities and a faster coupled gyrotropic oscillation for the antiparallel chiralities.
Date: July 5, 2009
Creator: Jun, Su-Hyeong; Shim, Je-Ho; Oh, Suhk-Kun; Yu, Seong-Cho; Kim, Dong-Hyun; Mesler, Brooke et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department