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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Manipulation of Magnetic Textures in Thin Films and Devices

  • Author(s): Tolley, Robert Douglas
  • Advisor(s): Fullerton, Eric
  • et al.

Control and manipulation of magnetic textures is promising for the development of next-generation data storage, memory and processing technologies. Towards this goal, domain wall manipulation in two materials systems are presented here and thoroughly evaluated. Domain walls in ferrimagnetic Cobalt-Terbium alloys and multilayers are created, moved and stabilized via thermal gradients and a static magnetic field and exploit the unique properties of the system across the magnetic compensation point. The response of the systems to thermal gradients is observed via Kerr microscopy and used to determine the positioning of domain walls within patterned devices. Magnetic skyrmions are discovered in thin-film multilayered stacks using an Pt/Co/Os/Pt heterostructures where the thin Osmium layer is used to break interfacial symmetry and enhance the Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction. The resulting skyrmions are manipulated using temperature, magnetic field, and electric current, and special attention is paid to their motion and nucleation behavior. Skyrmions are observed to be formed by low applied currents from nucleation sites and by collapse of stripe textures. Patterned wires allow for the observation of skyrmion nucleation behavior in free space, as well as defect sites, and real-time Kerr microscopy imaging is presented of skyrmion and stripe dynamics. These systems are evaluated from a perspective of their growth, patterning, measurement, and the novel behavior of the magnetic textures.

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