An approach to image the domains and domain walls of small ferromagnetic entities using atomic force microscopy (AFM), with a nonmagnetic AFM probe, has been developed. Exciting the sample in an external ac magnetic field, the distribution of magnetostrictive response at the surface is detected. By this technique, the domains and domain walls of submicron Co dots have been imaged with a 1 nm lateral resolution. In elliptical Co dots with a 350-nm-long axis on a triangular lattice array with 400 nm periodicity, we find evidence for two domains with opposite magnetization orientation across a wall. The domain-wall width in these dots is found to be about 35 nm. Furthermore, we observe a ferromagnetic alignment of the domains in the neighboring dots, which suggests a magnetostatic interaction among the dots. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.
|Journal||Applied Physics Letters|
|Publication status||Published - 15 May 2000|