The scientific objective of this programme is to achieve a comprehensive knowledge of magnetically coupled systems of reduced dimensionality. Spin configuration, magnetic and electrical properties of patterned nanostructures will be investigated in three kinds of magnetically coupled materials: antiferromagnetic / ferromagnetic (AF/FM), very thin multilayers with perpendicular anisotropy and superconducting / ferromagnetic (SC/FM) bilayers. Thin films will be patterned constraining lateral dimensions in the range of 50 nm to 200 microns. These dimensions are comparable to typical magnetic length scales as domain wall width and spin diffusion length, thus novel phenomena and spin configurations are expected as the size of these elements becomes smaller. Coupling interactions in patterned magnetic systems have attracted much attention due to both still open challenging issues in nanomagnetism and the technological implications in spintronics devices, storage media, biological sensor, and logic units. Four Work packages reveal the challenges and objectives of this proposal. The effect of magnetic coupling in: i) the formation of a vortex state in dots with an in-depth magnetic profile (FeF2/FeNi), ii) competing anisotropy nanostructures (IrMn/FeCo), iii) the domain configuration in YBaCuO/FM hybrid heterostructures, and iv) the stability of Co/CoFeB nanoelements with perpendicular anisotropy, will be systematically investigated. The proposed exchange scheme will train young and experienced researchers from eleven high-class research centers in state-of-the-art nanofabrication and characterization techniques. The success of this project is only possible combining capacities and facilities from all partners.
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