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Phys Rev Lett. 2004 Feb 13;92(6):067201. Epub 2004 Feb 12.

Shape-dependent thermal switching behavior of superparamagnetic nanoislands.

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Institute of Applied Physics and Microstructure Research Center, University of Hamburg, Jungiusstrasse 11, 20355 Hamburg, Germany.


The thermal switching behavior of individual perpendicularly magnetized nanoscale Fe islands consisting of 200-600 atoms only is studied by low-temperature spin-polarized scanning tunneling microscopy. Our results reveal that the switching rate is strongly affected by the particle shape; i.e., elongated islands switch much more rapidly than compact islands of the same volume. This observation is explained by different processes of magnetization reversal. Our results suggest that compact magnetic particles are an ideal choice for future perpendicular magnetic recording media because they are robust against thermal magnetization reversal.

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