Engineering magnetic nanostructures with inverse hysteresis loops
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Top-down lithography techniques allow the fabrication of nanostructured elements with novel spin configurations, which provide a new route to engineer and manipulate the magnetic response of sensors and electronic devices and understand the role of fundamental interactions in materials science. In this study, shallow nanostructure-patterned thin films were designed to present inverse magnetization curves, i.e., an anomalous magnetic mechanism characterized by a negative coercivity and negative remanence. This procedure involved a method for manipulating the spin configuration that yielded a negative coercivity after the patterning of a single material layer. Patterned NiFe thin films with trench depths between 15%–25% of the total film thickness exhibited inverse hysteresis loops for a wide angular range of the applied field and the trench axis. A model based on two exchange-coupled subsystems accounts for the experimental results and thus predicts the conditions for the appearance of this magnetic behavior. The findings of the study not only advance our understanding of patterning effects and confined magnetic systems but also enable the local design and control of the magnetic response of thin materials with potential use in sensor engineering.
Keywordsmagnetic nanostructures magnetic patterning effects inverted loops negative coercivity negative remanence
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