Nanoscale confinement of the magnetization in a magnetic element often results in the creation of a vortex structure. The vortex equilibrium state is characterized by the curling of the in-plane magnetization (chirality) and an out-of-plane core magnetization. The polarity of the vortex core can point up or down, independent of the chirality, and, thus, magnetic elements with a vortex core are interesting as four-state logic elements. We present an easy-to-use, quantitative method for the determination of both chirality and polarity from a single Fresnel image. This method offers direct evidence of the three-dimensional structure of a magnetic vortex and has significant advantages over the more complex methods currently in use.
- Lorentz transmission electron microscopy
- Magnetic thin film
- Vortex polarity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics