Applied Physics A

, Volume 76, Issue 5, pp 665–671 | Cite as

Layer-resolved microscopy of magnetic domains in multi-layered systems


Photoelectron emission microscopy in connection with magnetic circular dichroism in soft X-ray absorption can be used for the microscopic imaging of magnetic domains in layered thin film structures consisting of several magnetic layers. Due to the element-selectivity of the method, the different magnetic layers in such a structure can be imaged separately, provided that they contain different elements. This has been applied for the investigation of Co/Cu/Ni trilayers, epitaxially grown on Cu (001). The magnetic coupling between the Co and Ni layers can be directly visualized from comparing layer-resolved magnetic domain images of both layers. As a consequence of the competition between the anisotropy energies of the two magnetic layers and the magnetic coupling energy, spin-reorientation transitions between collinear and non-collinear magnetic configurations are observed. Apart from this globally observable magnetic interlayer coupling a micromagnetic coupling mechanism is also evident from the layer-resolved domain images. It is caused by magnetostatic interaction of local stray fields from domain walls.

PACS: 75.70.Kw; 75.70.-i 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Kuch
    • 1
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für Mikrostrukturphysik, Weinberg 2, 06120 Halle, GermanyDE

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