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Control of Coupling Phenomena in Magnetic Nanostructures

  • Author(s): Sun, Wei-Yang
  • Advisor(s): Carman, Gregory P
  • et al.

The search for non-volatile, non-dissipative computing devices (memory and logic) beyond current transistor technology has encouraged the scientific community to develop new nanoscale magnetic control mechanisms. In the present work, the control of magnets by magnetoelastic anisotropy is investigated within the context of nanoscale magnetoelectric composite systems. These magnetoelectric composites are artificial multiferroic materials which exhibit both a coexistence and coupling of ferromagnetic and ferroelectric ordering. This device architecture provides a route to control magnetism with electric fields via the application of mechanical stress. In the present work, magnetization behavior under mechanical stress of various magnetically coupled systems is investigated using both advanced computer simulations and experimental work. The application of voltage-controlled strain is shown to influence dipole coupled nanomagnet arrays and antiferromagnetic-ferromagnetic (AFM-FM) spontaneous exchange bias systems, which present pathways to engineered systems. Furthermore, the repeatable nature of these experiments presents unambiguous deterministic voltage control for both dipole-coupled systems and spontaneous exchange bias systems. The experimental results are confirmed by multiple characterization techniques, including superconducting quantum interference device magnetometry (SQUID) and magneto optic Kerr effect magnetometry (MOKE). This work thus provides significant evidence of the viability of magnetoelastic anisotropy as a means to control magnetoelectric heterostructures in future computing devices.

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