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Phys Rev Lett. 2002 Feb 25;88(8):087202. Epub 2002 Feb 11.

Magnetic domain confinement by anisotropy modulation.

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  • 1Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HE, United Kingdom.


The spin configuration in a magnet is in general a "natural" consequence of both the intrinsic properties of the material and the sample dimensions. We demonstrate that this limitation can be overcome in a homogeneous ferromagnetic film by engineering an anisotropy contrast. Substrates with laterally modulated single-crystal and polycrystalline surface regions were used to induce selective epitaxial growth of a ferromagnetic Ni film. The resulting spatially varying magnetic anisotropy leads to regular perpendicular and in-plane magnetic domains, separated by a new type of magnetic wall---the "anisotropy constrained" magnetic wall.

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