The formation mechanism of 360 domain walls in exchange-biased polycrystalline ferromagnetic films

J. Dean, A. Kohn, A. Kovács, A. Zeltser, M. J. Carey, G. Hrkac, D. A. Allwood, T. Schrefl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The formation mechanism of 360 domain walls (360DW) created in an exchange-biased bilayer of Co65.5Fe14.5B 20/Ir22Mn78 is described. The structural and magnetic properties are experimentally characterized and incorporated into a micromagnetic model of exchange-bias for granular anti-ferromagnetic films. This model is used to study and explain the formation mechanism of 360DWs in the ferromagnetic layer, which occur due to interface coupling to the antiferromagnetic layer. The validity of the resulting calculated magnetization maps are examined by comparing simulated and experimental Fresnel-contrast images of the bilayer. Energy barrier simulations are used to explain the dependence of the areal size and spatial frequency of the 360DW on the anisotropy energy of the anti-ferromagnetic layer. These calculations also show how such structures can form at room temperature at relatively low applied magnetic fields. Calculations based on this model are in agreement with imaging using Lorentz transmission electron microscopy and the measured macro-magnetic properties.

Original languageEnglish
Article number073901
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Volume110
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes

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