Direct visualization of three-step magnetization reversal of nanopatterned spin-valve elements using off-axis electron holography

Kai He*, David J. Smith, Martha R. McCartney

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

The remanent states and magnetization reversal mechanisms for nanopatterned Co/Cu/Py (Py=Permalloy) spin-valve elements with slotted-ring shapes have been studied using off-axis electron holography. The hysteresis loops of individual elements were quantitatively determined for slots parallel to the applied field, indicating that three identifiably separate steps occurred during reversal. Magnetization configurations at each stage were directly visualized, suggesting that Co and Py layers undergo coherent switching from onion state to flux-closure state and finally to reverse onion state. The effective loop rotation direction for the Py layer was clockwise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number172503
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Volume94
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - May 11 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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