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Chirality-induced zigzag domain wall in in-plane magnetized ultrathin films

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The domain structure in in-plane magnetized Fe/Ni/W(110) films is investigated using spin-polarized low-energy electron microscopy. A novel transition of the domain wall shape from a zigzaglike pattern to straight is observed as a function of the film thickness, which is triggered by the transition of the domain wall type from the out-of-plane chiral wall to the in-plane Néel wall. The contribution of the Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction to the wall energy is proposed to explain the transition of the domain wall shape, which is supported by Monte Carlo simulations.

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