Nanoscale imaging of buried topological defects with quantitative X-ray magnetic microscopy

C. Blanco-Roldán, C. Quirós, A. Sorrentino, A. Hierro-Rodríguez, L. M. Álvarez-Prado, R. Valcárcel, M. Duch, N. Torras, J. Esteve, J. I. Martín, M. Vélez, J. M. Alameda, E. Pereiro, S. Ferrer

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© 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. Advances in nanoscale magnetism increasingly require characterization tools providing detailed descriptions of magnetic configurations. Magnetic transmission X-ray microscopy produces element specific magnetic domain images with nanometric lateral resolution in films up to ∼100 nm thick. Here we present an imaging method using the angular dependence of magnetic contrast in a series of high resolution transmission X-ray microscopy images to obtain quantitative descriptions of the magnetization (canting angles relative to surface normal and sense). This method is applied to 55-120 nm thick ferromagnetic NdCo 5 layers (canting angles between 65° and 22°), and to a NdCo 5 film covered with permalloy. Interestingly, permalloy induces a 43° rotation of Co magnetization towards surface normal. Our method allows identifying complex topological defects (merons or 1/2 skyrmions) in a NdCo 5 film that are only partially replicated by the permalloy overlayer. These results open possibilities for the characterization of deeply buried magnetic topological defects, nanostructures and devices.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8196
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sep 2015


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