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Phys Rev Lett. 2003 Sep 19;91(12):127201. Epub 2003 Sep 16.

Direct observation of the single-domain limit of Fe nanomagnets by spin-polarized scanning tunneling spectroscopy.

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Graduate School of Engineering Science, Osaka University, Osaka 560-8531, Japan.


We have investigated the magnetic structure of self-organized Fe islands on W(001) by means of spin-polarized scanning tunneling spectroscopy (Sp-STS). Single-domain, simple vortex, and distorted vortex states have been observed. The high resolution magnetic images were used to experimentally determine the single-domain limit. The experimental structures were compared with results of micromagnetic calculations confirming the ground state nature of the experimental configurations. The single-domain limit directly observed with Sp-STS is consistent with theoretical predictions.

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