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Magnetic switching in submicron dots


The principal objective of the project is to gain an understanding of the magnetic reversal processes in sub-micron magnetic structures by:

- the optimisation of the growth of appropriate thin film materials using advanced preparation techniques
- the fabrication of magnetic dot structures using nanolithography and associated transfer processes
- the fabrication of magnetic clusters in the nanometre size range and of microstructures including such structures
- the development of advanced magnetic detection techniques adapted to single magnetic dot or cluster structures
- experimental studies of the field and time dependence of the reversal processes
- the search for high frequency operation up to the GHz range
- the development of prototype devices
The expected results will be:

- optimisation of the growth of Fe, Co and Ni based films
- the fabrication of isolated magnetic dot, cluster and wire structures and of large area arrays (>0.1mm2)
- detection of sub-micron single magnetic dot, cluster and wire structures using micro-SQUID and MR techniques and studies of the spin reversal process in sub-micron elements
- experimental studies of the field and time dependence (down to ns range) of the reversal processes
- the development of prototype devices
We intend to study the reversal of the magnetisation reversal processes in submicron magnetic structures as a function of temperature, magnetic anisotropy and dimensions. The fabrication of the structures will be based on advanced growth, lithography and associated transfer methods. Several novel magnetic measurement techniques specially adapted for ultrasensitive detection will be developed in the first phase of the programme based on micro SQUID magnetometry, magnetoresistance, magneto-optic (MO) and Hall effect measurements and magnetic reversal processes in micron scale elements will be reported. The specific advantage of this approach is that we will be able to study single particles, both as isolated entities and within array structures. In the second phase, measurements of the dynamic magnetic reversal processes in single dots and arrays will be made using techniques developed in the first phase. The consortium brings together expertise in highly sensitive measurement techniques, nanofabrication technologies, epitaxial growth and material preparation, as well as opening a route to the potential applications of interest to an industrial partner.

Funding Scheme

ACM - Preparatory, accompanying and support measures


Trinity Lane, The Old Schools,
CB2 1TN Cambridge
United Kingdom