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Phys Rev Lett. 2006 Nov 17;97(20):207205. Epub 2006 Nov 16.

Dependence of current and field driven depinning of domain walls on their structure and chirality in permalloy nanowires.

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IBM Almaden Research Center, San Jose, California, USA.


A magnetic domain wall (DW) injected and pinned at a notch in a permalloy nanowire is shown to exhibit four well-defined magnetic states, vortex and transverse, each with two chiralities. These states, imaged using magnetic force microscopy, are readily detected from their different resistance values arising from the anisotropic magnetoresistance effect. Whereas distinct depinning fields and critical depinning currents in the presence of magnetic fields are found, the critical depinning currents are surprisingly similar for all four DW states in low magnetic fields. We observe current-induced transformations between these DW states below the critical depinning current which may account for the similar depinning currents.

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