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Nano Lett. 2012 Dec 12;12(12):6372-9. doi: 10.1021/nl303645k. Epub 2012 Dec 3.

Electrical probing of magnetic phase transition and domain wall motion in single-crystalline Mn₅Ge₃ nanowire.

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  • 1Device Research Laboratory, Department of Electrical Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095, United States.


In this Letter, the magnetic phase transition and domain wall motion in a single-crystalline Mn(5)Ge(3) nanowire were investigated by temperature-dependent magneto-transport measurements. The ferromagnetic Mn(5)Ge(3) nanowire was fabricated by fully germaniding a single-crystalline Ge nanowire through the solid-state reaction with Mn contacts upon thermal annealing at 450 °C. Temperature-dependent four-probe resistance measurements on the Mn(5)Ge(3) nanowire showed a clear slope change near 300 K accompanied by a magnetic phase transition from ferromagnetism to paramagnetism. The transition temperature was able to be controlled by both axial and radial magnetic fields as the external magnetic field helped maintain the magnetization aligned in the Mn(5)Ge(3) nanowire. Near the magnetic phase transition, the critical behavior in the 1D system was characterized by a power-law relation with a critical exponent of α = 0.07 ± 0.01. Besides, another interesting feature was revealed as a cusp at about 67 K in the first-order derivative of the nanowire resistance, which was attributed to a possible magnetic transition between two noncollinear and collinear ferromagnetic states in the Mn(5)Ge(3) lattice. Furthermore, temperature-dependent magneto-transport measurements demonstrated a hysteretic, symmetric, and stepwise axial magnetoresistance of the Mn(5)Ge(3) nanowire. The interesting features of abrupt jumps indicated the presence of multiple domain walls in the Mn(5)Ge(3) nanowire and the annihilation of domain walls driven by the magnetic field. The Kurkijärvi model was used to describe the domain wall depinning as thermally assisted escape from a single energy barrier, and the fitting on the temperature-dependent depinning magnetic fields yielded an energy barrier of 0.166 eV.

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