Header logo is mms
mms no image
Michael Bechtel
Research Engineer
mms Joachim Gräfe
Joachim Gräfe
Research Group Leader
17 results

2020


{Creating zero-field skyrmions in exchange-biased multilayers through X-ray illumination}
Creating zero-field skyrmions in exchange-biased multilayers through X-ray illumination

Guang, Y., Bykova, I., Liu, Y., Yu, G., Goering, E., Weigand, M., Gräfe, J., Kim, S. K., Zhang, J., Zhang, H., Yan, Z., Wan, C., Feng, J., Wang, X., Guo, C., Wei, H., Peng, Y., Tserkovnyak, Y., Han, X., Schütz, G.

{Nature Communications}, 11, Nature Publishing Group, London, 2020 (article)

Abstract
Skyrmions, magnetic textures with topological stability, hold promises for high-density and energy-efficient information storage devices owing to their small size and low driving-current density. Precise creation of a single nanoscale skyrmion is a prerequisite to further understand the skyrmion physics and tailor skyrmion-based applications. Here, we demonstrate the creation of individual skyrmions at zero-field in an exchange-biased magnetic multilayer with exposure to soft X-rays. In particular, a single skyrmion with 100-nm size can be created at the desired position using a focused X-ray spot of sub-50-nm size. This single skyrmion creation is driven by the X-ray-induced modification of the antiferromagnetic order and the corresponding exchange bias. Furthermore, artificial skyrmion lattices with various arrangements can be patterned using X-ray. These results demonstrate the potential of accurate optical control of single skyrmion at sub-100 nm scale. We envision that X-ray could serve as a versatile tool for local manipulation of magnetic orders.

DOI [BibTex]

2020

DOI [BibTex]


{Thermal nucleation and high-resolution imaging of submicrometer magnetic bubbles in thin thulium iron garnet films with perpendicular anisotropy}
Thermal nucleation and high-resolution imaging of submicrometer magnetic bubbles in thin thulium iron garnet films with perpendicular anisotropy

Büttner, F., Mawass, M. A., Bauer, J., Rosenberg, E., Caretta, L., Avci, C. O., Gräfe, J., Finizio, S., Vaz, C. A. F., Novakovic, N., Weigand, M., Litzius, K., Förster, J., Träger, N., Groß, F., Suzuki, D., Huang, M., Bartell, J., Kronast, F., Raabe, J., Schütz, G., Ross, C. A., Beach, G. S. D.

{Physical Review Materials}, 4(1), American Physical Society, College Park, MD, 2020 (article)

Abstract
Ferrimagnetic iron garnets are promising materials for spintronics applications, characterized by ultralow damping and zero current shunting. It has recently been found that few nm-thick garnet films interfaced with a heavy metal can also exhibit sizable interfacial spin-orbit interactions, leading to the emergence, and efficient electrical control, of one-dimensional chiral domain walls. Two-dimensional bubbles, by contrast, have so far only been confirmed in micrometer-thick films. Here, we show by high resolution scanning transmission x-ray microscopy and photoemission electron microscopy that submicrometer bubbles can be nucleated and stabilized in ∼25-nm-thick thulium iron garnet films via short heat pulses generated by electric current in an adjacent Pt strip, or by ultrafast laser illumination. We also find that quasistatic processes do not lead to the formation of a bubble state, suggesting that the thermodynamic path to reaching that state requires transient dynamics. X-ray imaging reveals that the bubbles have Bloch-type walls with random chirality and topology, indicating negligible chiral interactions at the garnet film thickness studied here. The robustness of thermal nucleation and the feasibility demonstrated here to image garnet-based devices by x-rays both in transmission geometry and with sensitivity to the domain wall chirality are critical steps to enabling the study of small spin textures and dynamics in perpendicularly magnetized thin-film garnets.

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


{Real-space imaging of confined magnetic skyrmion tubes}
Real-space imaging of confined magnetic skyrmion tubes

Birch, M. T., Cortés-Ortuño, D., Turnbull, L. A., Wilson, M. N., Groß, F., Träger, N., Laurenson, A., Bukin, N., Moody, S. H., Weigand, M., Schütz, G., Popescu, H., Fan, R., Steadman, P., Verezhak, J. A. T., Balakrishnan, G., Loudon, J. C., Twitchett-Harrison, A. C., Hovorka, O., Fangohr, H., Ogrin, F., Gräfe, J., Hatton, P. D.

Nature Communications, 11, pages: 1726, 2020 (article)

Abstract
Magnetic skyrmions are topologically nontrivial particles with a potential application as information elements in future spintronic device architectures. While they are commonly portrayed as two dimensional objects, in reality magnetic skyrmions are thought to exist as elongated, tube-like objects extending through the thickness of the host material. The study of this skyrmion tube state (SkT) is vital for furthering the understanding of skyrmion formation and dynamics for future applications. However, direct experimental imaging of skyrmion tubes has yet to be reported. Here, we demonstrate the real-space observation of skyrmion tubes in a lamella of FeGe using resonant magnetic x-ray imaging and comparative micromagnetic simulations, confirming their extended structure. The formation of these structures at the edge of the sample highlights the importance of confinement and edge effects in the stabilisation of the SkT state, opening the door to further investigation into this unexplored dimension of the skyrmion spin texture.

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

2019


Anatomy of Skyrmionic Textures in Magnetic Multilayers
Anatomy of Skyrmionic Textures in Magnetic Multilayers

Li, W., Bykova, I., Zhang, S., Yu, G., Tomasello, R., Carpentieri, M., Liu, Y., Guang, Y., Gräfe, J., Weigand, M., Burn, D. M., Laan, G. V. D., Hesjedal, T., Yan, Z., Feng, J., Wan, C., Wei, J., Wang, X., Zhang, X., Xu, H., Guo, C., Wei, H., Finocchio, G., Han, X., Schütz, G.

Advanced Materials, 31, pages: 1807683, 2019 (article)

Abstract
Room temperature magnetic skyrmions in magnetic multilayers are considered as information carriers for future spintronic applications. Currently, a detailed understanding of the skyrmion stabilization mechanisms is still lacking in these systems. To gain more insight, it is first and foremost essential to determine the full real‐space spin configuration. Here, two advanced X‐ray techniques are applied, based on magnetic circular dichroism, to investigate the spin textures of skyrmions in [Ta/CoFeB/MgO]n multilayers. First, by using ptychography, a high‐resolution diffraction imaging technique, the 2D out‐of‐plane spin profile of skyrmions with a spatial resolution of 10 nm is determined. Second, by performing circular dichroism in resonant elastic X‐ray scattering, it is demonstrated that the chirality of the magnetic structure undergoes a depth‐dependent evolution. This suggests that the skyrmion structure is a complex 3D structure rather than an identical planar texture throughout the layer stack. The analyses of the spin textures confirm the theoretical predictions that the dipole–dipole interactions together with the external magnetic field play an important role in stabilizing sub‐100 nm diameter skyrmions and the hybrid structure of the skyrmion domain wall. This combined X‐ray‐based approach opens the door for in‐depth studies of magnetic skyrmion systems, which allows for precise engineering of optimized skyrmion heterostructures.

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

2019

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


{Vizualizing nanoscale spin waves using MAXYMUS}
Vizualizing nanoscale spin waves using MAXYMUS

Gräfe, J., Weigand, M., Van Waeyenberge, B., Gangwar, A., Groß, F., Lisiecki, F., Rychly, J., Stoll, H., Träger, N., Förster, J., Stobiecki, F., Dubowik, J., Klos, H., Krwaczyk, M., Back, C. H., Goering, E. J., Schütz, G.

{Proceedings of SPIE}, 11090, SPIE, Bellingham, Washington, 2019 (article)

Abstract
Magnonics research, i.e. the manipulation of spin waves for information processing, is a topic of intense research interest in the past years. FMR, BLS and MOKE measurements lead to tremendous success and advancement of the field. However, these methods are limited in their spatial resolution. X-ray microscopy opens up a way to push to spatial resolutions below 100 nm. Here, we discuss the methodology of STXM for pump-probe data acquisition with single photon counting and arbitrary excitation patterns. Furthermore, we showcase these capabilities using two magnonic crystals as examples: an antidot lattice and a Fibonacci quasicrystal.

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


Magnons in a Quasicrystal: Propagation, Extinction, and Localization of Spin Waves in Fibonacci Structures
Magnons in a Quasicrystal: Propagation, Extinction, and Localization of Spin Waves in Fibonacci Structures

Lisiecki, F., Rychły, J., Kuświk, P., Głowiński, H., Kłos, J. W., Groß, F., Träger, N., Bykova, I., Weigand, M., Zelent, M., Goering, E. J., Schütz, G., Krawczyk, M., Stobiecki, F., Dubowik, J., Gräfe, J.

Physical Review Applied, 11, pages: 054061, 2019 (article)

Abstract
Magnonic quasicrystals exceed the possibilities of spin-wave (SW) manipulation offered by regular magnonic crystals, because of their more complex SW spectra with fractal characteristics. Here, we report the direct x-ray microscopic observation of propagating SWs in a magnonic quasicrystal, consisting of dipolar coupled permalloy nanowires arranged in a one-dimensional Fibonacci sequence. SWs from the first and second band as well as evanescent waves from the band gap between them are imaged. Moreover, additional mini band gaps in the spectrum are demonstrated, directly indicating an influence of the quasiperiodicity of the system. Finally, the localization of SW modes within the Fibonacci crystal is shown. The experimental results are interpreted using numerical calculations and we deduce a simple model to estimate the frequency position of the magnonic gaps in quasiperiodic structures. The demonstrated features of SW spectra in one-dimensional magnonic quasicrystals allow utilizing this class of metamaterials for magnonics and make them an ideal basis for future applications.

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


Reprogrammability and Scalability of Magnonic Fibonacci Quasicrystals
Reprogrammability and Scalability of Magnonic Fibonacci Quasicrystals

Lisiecki, F., Rychły, J., Kuświk, P., Głowiński, H., Kłos, J. W., Groß, F., Bykova, I., Weigand, M., Zelent, M., Goering, E. J., Schütz, G., Gubbiotti, G., Krawczyk, M., Stobiecki, F., Dubowik, J., Gräfe, J.

Physical Review Applied, 11, pages: 054003, 2019 (article)

Abstract
Magnonic crystals are systems that can be used to design and tune the dynamic properties of magnetization. Here, we focus on one-dimensional Fibonacci magnonic quasicrystals. We confirm the existence of collective spin waves propagating through the structure as well as dispersionless modes; the reprogammability of the resonance frequencies, dependent on the magnetization order; and dynamic spin-wave interactions. With the fundamental understanding of these properties, we lay a foundation for the scalable and advanced design of spin-wave band structures for spintronic, microwave, and magnonic applications.

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


{Nanoscale detection of spin wave deflection angles in permalloy}
Nanoscale detection of spin wave deflection angles in permalloy

Gross, F., Träger, N., Förster, J., Weigand, M., Schütz, G., Gräfe, J.

{Applied Physics Letters}, 114(1), American Institute of Physics, Melville, NY, 2019 (article)

Abstract
Magnonics is a potential candidate for beyond CMOS and neuromorphic computing technologies with advanced phase encoded logic. However, nanoscale imaging of spin waves with full phase and magnetization amplitude information is a challenge. We show a generalized scanning transmission x-ray microscopy platform to get a complete understanding of spin waves, including the k-vector, phase, and absolute magnetization deflection angle. As an example, this is demonstrated using a 50 nm thin permalloy film where we find a maximum deflection angle of 1.5° and good agreement with the k-vector dispersion previously reported in the literature. With a spatial resolution approximately ten times better than any other methods for spin wave imaging, x-ray microscopy opens a vast range of possibilities for the observation of spin waves and various magnetic structures.

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


{Coherent excitation of heterosymmetric spin waves with ultrashort wavelengths}
Coherent excitation of heterosymmetric spin waves with ultrashort wavelengths

Dieterle, G., Förster, J., Stoll, H., Semisalova, A. S., Finizio, S., Gangwar, A., Weigand, M., Noske, M., Fähnle, M., Bykova, I., Gräfe, J., Bozhko, D. A., Musiienko-Shmarova, H. Y., Tiberkevich, V., Slavin, A. N., Back, C. H., Raabe, J., Schütz, G., Wintz, S.

{Physical Review Letters}, 122(11), American Physical Society, Woodbury, N.Y., 2019 (article)

Abstract
In the emerging field of magnonics, spin waves are foreseen as signal carriers for future spintronic information processing and communication devices, owing to both the very low power losses and a high device miniaturization potential predicted for short-wavelength spin waves. Yet, the efficient excitation and controlled propagation of nanoscale spin waves remains a severe challenge. Here, we report the observation of high-amplitude, ultrashort dipole-exchange spin waves (down to 80 nm wavelength at 10 GHz frequency) in a ferromagnetic single layer system, coherently excited by the driven dynamics of a spin vortex core. We used time-resolved x-ray microscopy to directly image such propagating spin waves and their excitation over a wide range of frequencies. By further analysis, we found that these waves exhibit a heterosymmetric mode profile, involving regions with anti-Larmor precession sense and purely linear magnetic oscillation. In particular, this mode profile consists of dynamic vortices with laterally alternating helicity, leading to a partial magnetic flux closure over the film thickness, which is explained by a strong and unexpected mode hybridization. This spin-wave phenomenon observed is a general effect inherent to the dynamics of sufficiently thick ferromagnetic single layer films, independent of the specific excitation method employed.

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


{Nanoscale X-ray imaging of spin dynamics in Yttrium iron garnet}
Nanoscale X-ray imaging of spin dynamics in Yttrium iron garnet

Förster, J., Wintz, S., Bailey, J., Finizio, S., Josten, E., Meertens, D., Dubs, C., Bozhko, D. A., Stoll, H., Dieterle, G., Traeger, N., Raabe, J., Slavin, A. N., Weigand, M., Gräfe, J., Schütz, G.

Journal of Applied Physics, 126, 2019 (article)

Abstract
Time-resolved scanning transmission x-ray microscopy has been used for the direct imaging of spin-wave dynamics in a thin film yttrium iron garnet (YIG) with sub-200 nm spatial resolution. Application of this x-ray transmission technique to single-crystalline garnet films was achieved by extracting a lamella (13×5×0.185 μm3) of the liquid phase epitaxy grown YIG thin film out of a gadolinium gallium garnet substrate. Spin waves in the sample were measured along the Damon-Eshbach and backward volume directions of propagation at gigahertz frequencies and with wavelengths in a range between 200 nm and 10 μm. The results were compared to theoretical models. Here, the widely used approximate dispersion equation for dipole-exchange spin waves proved to be insufficient for describing the observed Damon-Eshbach type modes. For achieving an accurate description, we made use of the full analytical theory taking mode-hybridization effects into account.

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

2018


{Direct observation of Zhang-Li torque expansion of magnetic droplet solitons}
Direct observation of Zhang-Li torque expansion of magnetic droplet solitons

Chung, S., Tuan Le, Q., Ahlberg, M., Awad, A. A., Weigand, M., Bykova, I., Khymyn, R., Dvornik, M., Mazraati, H., Houshang, A., Jiang, S., Nguyen, T. N. A., Goering, E., Schütz, G., Gräfe, J., \AAkerman, J.

{Physical Review Letters}, 120(21), American Physical Society, Woodbury, N.Y., 2018 (article)

Abstract
Magnetic droplets are nontopological dynamical solitons that can be nucleated in nanocontact based spin torque nano-oscillators (STNOs) with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy free layers. While theory predicts that the droplet should be of the same size as the nanocontact, its inherent drift instability has thwarted attempts at observing it directly using microscopy techniques. Here, we demonstrate highly stable magnetic droplets in all-perpendicular STNOs and present the first detailed droplet images using scanning transmission X-ray microscopy. In contrast to theoretical predictions, we find that the droplet diameter is about twice as large as the nanocontact. By extending the original droplet theory to properly account for the lateral current spread underneath the nanocontact, we show that the large discrepancy primarily arises from current-in-plane Zhang-Li torque adding an outward pressure on the droplet perimeter. Electrical measurements on droplets nucleated using a reversed current in the antiparallel state corroborate this picture.

DOI [BibTex]

2018

DOI [BibTex]


{Transmission x-ray microscopy at low temperatures: Irregular supercurrent flow at small length scales}
Transmission x-ray microscopy at low temperatures: Irregular supercurrent flow at small length scales

Simmendinger, J., Ruoss, S., Stahl, C., Weigand, M., Gräfe, J., Schütz, G., Albrecht, J.

{Physical Review B}, 97(13), American Physical Society, Woodbury, NY, 2018 (article)

Abstract
Scanning transmission x-ray microscopy has been used to image electric currents in superconducting films at temperatures down to 20 K. We detect significant deviations from a regular current path driven by macroscopic geometrical constraints. The magnetic stray field of supercurrents in a thin YBaCuO film is mapped into a soft-magnetic coating of permalloy. The so-created local magnetization of the ferromagnetic film can be detected by dichroic absorption of polarized x rays. To enable high-quality measurements in transmission geometry, the whole heterostructure of ferromagnet, superconductor, and single-crystalline substrate has been thinned to an overall thickness of less than 1 µm. With this technique, local supercurrents can be analyzed in a wide range of temperatures and magnetic fields. The less than 100 nm spatial resolution of the magnetic signal together with simultaneously obtained nanostructural data allow the correlation of local supercurrents with the micro- and nanostructure of the superconducting film.

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]

2016


{Geometric control of the magnetization reversal in antidot lattices with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy}
Geometric control of the magnetization reversal in antidot lattices with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy

Gräfe, J., Weigand, M., Träger, N., Schütz, G., Goering, E. J., Skripnik, M., Nowak, U., Haering, F., Ziemann, P., Wiedwald, U.

{Physical Review B}, 93(10), American Physical Society, Woodbury, NY, 2016 (article)

Abstract
While the magnetic properties of nanoscaled antidot lattices in in-plane magnetized materials have widely been investigated, much less is known about the microscopic effect of hexagonal antidot lattice patterning on materials with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy. By using a combination of first-order reversal curve measurements, magnetic x-ray microscopy, and micromagnetic simulations we elucidate the microscopic origins of the switching field distributions that arise from the introduction of antidot lattices into out-of-plane magnetized GdFe thin films. Depending on the geometric parameters of the antidot lattice we find two regimes with different magnetization reversal processes. For small antidots, the reversal process is dominated by the exchange interaction and domain wall pinning at the antidots drives up the coercivity of the system. On the other hand, for large antidots the dipolar interaction is dominating which leads to fragmentation of the system into very small domains that can be envisaged as a basis for a bit patterned media.

DOI Project Page Project Page [BibTex]

2016

DOI Project Page Project Page [BibTex]


{Combined first-order reversal curve and x-ray microscopy investigation of magnetization reversal mechanisms in hexagonal antidot lattices}
Combined first-order reversal curve and x-ray microscopy investigation of magnetization reversal mechanisms in hexagonal antidot lattices

Gräfe, J., Weigand, M., Stahl, C., Träger, N., Kopp, M., Schütz, G., Goering, E. J., Haering, F., Ziemann, P., Wiedwald, U.

{Physical Review B}, 93(1), American Physical Society, Woodbury, NY, 2016 (article)

Abstract
The magnetization reversal in nanoscaled antidot lattices is widely investigated to understand the tunability of the magnetic anisotropy and the coercive field through nanostructuring of thin films. By investigating highly ordered focused ion beam milled antidot lattices with a combination of first-order reversal curves and magnetic x-ray microscopy, we fully elucidate the magnetization reversal along the distinct orientations of a hexagonal antidot lattice. This combination proves especially powerful as all partial steps of this complex magnetization reversal can be identified and subsequently imaged. Through this approach we discovered several additional steps that were neglected in previous studies. Furthermore, by imaging the microscopic magnetization state during each reversal step, we were able to link the coercive and interaction fields determined by the first-order reversal curve method to true microscopic magnetization configurations and determine their origin.

DOI Project Page Project Page [BibTex]

DOI Project Page Project Page [BibTex]


{Magnetic switching of nanoscale antidot lattices}
Magnetic switching of nanoscale antidot lattices

Wiedwald, U., Gräfe, J., Lebecki, K. M., Skripnik, M., Haering, F., Schütz, G., Ziemann, P., Goering, E., Nowak, U.

{Beilstein Journal of Nanotechnology}, 7, pages: 733-750, Beilstein-Institut, Frankfurt am Main, 2016 (article)

Abstract
We investigate the rich magnetic switching properties of nanoscale antidot lattices in the 200 nm regime. In-plane magnetized Fe, Co, and Permalloy (Py) as well as out-of-plane magnetized GdFe antidot films are prepared by a modified nanosphere lithography allowing for non-close packed voids in a magnetic film. We present a magnetometry protocol based on magneto-optical Kerr microscopy elucidating the switching modes using first-order reversal curves. The combination of various magnetometry and magnetic microscopy techniques as well as micromagnetic simulations delivers a thorough understanding of the switching modes. While part of the investigations has been published before, we summarize these results and add significant new insights in the magnetism of exchange-coupled antidot lattices.

DOI Project Page [BibTex]

DOI Project Page [BibTex]

2015


{Perpendicular magnetisation from in-plane fields in nano-scaled antidot lattices}
Perpendicular magnetisation from in-plane fields in nano-scaled antidot lattices

Gräfe, J., Haering, F., Tietze, T., Audehm, P., Weigand, M., Wiedwald, U., Ziemann, P., Gawronski, P., Schütz, G., Goering, E. J.

{Nanotechnology}, 26(22), IOP Pub., Bristol, UK, 2015 (article)

Abstract
Investigations of geometric frustrations in magnetic antidot lattices have led to the observation of interesting phenomena like spin-ice and magnetic monopoles. By using highly focused magneto-optical Kerr effect measurements and x-ray microscopy with magnetic contrast we deduce that geometrical frustration in these nanostructured thin film systems also leads to an out-of-plane magnetization from a purely in-plane applied magnetic field. For certain orientations of the antidot lattice, formation of perpendicular magnetic domains has been found with a size of several μm that may be used for an in-plane/out-of-plane transducer.

DOI Project Page [BibTex]

2015

DOI Project Page [BibTex]

2014


{Detecting magnetic flux distributions in superconductors with polarized x-rays}
Detecting magnetic flux distributions in superconductors with polarized x-rays

Stahl, C., Audehm, P., Gräfe, J., Ruoß, S., Weigand, M., Schmidt, M., Treiber, S., Bechtel, M., Goering, E., Schütz, G., Albrecht, J.

{Physical Review B}, 90(10), American Physical Society, Woodbury, NY, 2014 (article)

Abstract
The magnetic flux distribution arising from a high-Tc superconductor is detected and visualized using polarized x rays. Therefore, we introduce a sensor layer, namely, an amorphous, soft-magnetic Co40Fe40B20 cover layer, providing a large x-ray magnetic circular dichroism (XMCD). Temperature-dependent XMCD spectroscopy on the magnetic layer has been performed. Exploiting the temperature dependence of the critical current density of the superconductor we find a quantitative correlation between the XMCD signal and the in-plane stray field of the superconductor. Magneto-optical Kerr effect experiments on the sensor layer can simulate the stray field of the superconductor and hence verify the correlation. We show that the XMCD contrast in the sensor layer corresponds to the in-plane magnetic flux distribution of the superconductor and can hence be used to image magnetic structures in superconductors.

DOI [BibTex]

2014

DOI [BibTex]