Morphological instability of ferromagnetic thin films

Kuo An Wu*, Peter W. Voorhees

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We investigate the morphological instability of ferromagnetic planar thin films using linear perturbation theory. We find that, for a uniformly magnetized ferromagnetic planar film with a nonzero component of the magnetization along the normal to the planar film, the planar surface is unstable with respect to perturbations having a wave number smaller than a critical value. In addition, the critical wave number changes with the direction of the surface perturbations, with the perturbations perpendicular to the in-plane component of the magnetization having the largest critical wave number. Such anisotropy could be important in controlling the evolution of the morphology of the film and nanoscale-island formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number073916
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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