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mms Joachim Gräfe
Joachim Gräfe (Project leader)
Research Group Leader
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Johannes Förster
Ph.D. Student
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Nick-André Träger
Ph.D. Student
19 results

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]

2017


{Temperature-dependent first-order reversal curve measurements on unusually hard magnetic low-temperature phase of MnBi}
Temperature-dependent first-order reversal curve measurements on unusually hard magnetic low-temperature phase of MnBi

Muralidhar, S., Gräfe, J., Chen, Y., Etter, M., Gregori, G., Ener, S., Sawatzki, S., Hono, K., Gutfleisch, O., Kronmüller, H., Schütz, G., Goering, E. J.

{Physical Review B}, 95(2), American Physical Society, Woodbury, NY, 2017 (article)

Abstract
We have performed first-order reversal curve (FORC) measurements to investigate the irreversible magnetization processes in the low-temperature phase of MnBi. Using temperature-dependent FORC analysis, we are able to provide a clear insight into the effects of microstructural parameters such as grain diameter, shape, and surface composition on the coercivity of nucleation hardened permanent magnet MnBi. FORC diagrams of MnBi show a unique broadening and narrowing of the coercive field distribution with increasing temperature. We were able to microscopically identify the reason for this behavior, based on the shift in the single domain critical diameter from nearly 1 to 2 μm, thereby changing the dependence of coercivity with particle size. This is based on a strong increase in the uniaxial anisotropy constant with increasing temperature. Furthermore, the results also give an additional confirmation that the magnetic hardening in low-temperature phase MnBi occurs due to nucleation mechanisms. In our case, we show that temperature-dependent FORC measurements provide a powerful tool for the microscopic understanding of high-performance permanent magnet systems.

DOI Project Page [BibTex]

2017

DOI Project Page [BibTex]


{Advanced magneto-optical Kerr effect measurements of superconductors at low temperatures}
Advanced magneto-optical Kerr effect measurements of superconductors at low temperatures

Stahl, C., Gräfe, J., Ruoß, S., Zahn, P., Bayer, J., Simmendinger, J., Schütz, G., Albrecht, J.

{AIP Advances}, 7(10), 2017 (article)

Abstract
Magneto-optical Kerr-effect (MOKE) measurements of superconducting films with soft-magnetic coatings are performed at low temperatures using a laser-based MOKE set-up. An elaborate measurement scheme with internal reference allows the quantitative comparison of the temperature dependent Kerr-amplitude with the magnetic field generated by supercurrents. For this purpose, an amorphous CoFeB thin film exhibiting a large Kerr-signal is deposited directly on top of the YBCO superconductor acting as field sensing layer. It is shown that the resulting magnetic hysteresis loops of the soft-magnetic film can be used to reconstruct the electric properties of the superconductor.

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]


{Coercivity scaling in antidot lattices in Fe, Ni, and NiFe thin films}
Coercivity scaling in antidot lattices in Fe, Ni, and NiFe thin films

Gräfe, J., Schütz, G., Goering, E. J.

{Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials}, 419, pages: 517-520, North-Holland, Amsterdam, 2016 (article)

Abstract
Antidot lattices can be used to artificially engineer magnetic properties in thin films, however, a conclusive model that describes the coercivity enhancement in this class of magnetic nano-structures has so far not been found. We prepared Fe, Ni, and NiFe thin films and patterned each with 21 square antidot lattices with different geometric parameters and measured their hysteretic behavior. On the basis of this extensive dataset we are able to provide a model that can describe both the coercivity scaling over a wide range of geometric lattice parameters and the influence of different materials.

DOI Project Page [BibTex]

DOI Project Page [BibTex]


{Statische und dynamische Magnetisierungseigenschaften nanoskaliger \"Uberstrukturen}
Statische und dynamische Magnetisierungseigenschaften nanoskaliger Überstrukturen

Gräfe, J.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart (und Cuvillier Verlag, Göttingen), 2016 (phdthesis)

[BibTex]

[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]


{Pinned orbital moments - A new contribution to magnetic anisotropy}
Pinned orbital moments - A new contribution to magnetic anisotropy

Audehm, P., Schmidt, M., Brück, S., Tietze, T., Gräfe, J., Macke, S., Schütz, G., Goering, E.

{Scientific Reports}, 6, Nature Publishing Group, London, UK, 2016 (article)

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [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]


{Switching probabilities of magnetic vortex core reversal studied by table top magneto optic Kerr microscopy}
Switching probabilities of magnetic vortex core reversal studied by table top magneto optic Kerr microscopy

Dieterle, G., Gangwar, A., Gräfe, J., Noske, M., Förster, J., Woltersdorf, G., Stoll, H., Back, C. H., Schütz, G.

{Applied Physics Letters}, 108(2), American Institute of Physics, Melville, NY, 2016 (article)

Abstract
We have studied vortex core reversal in a single submicron Permalloy disk by polar Kerr microscopy. A sophisticated lock-in-technique based on repetitive switching of the magnetic vortex core and a continuous calibration allows for a reliable determination of the switching probability. This highly sensitive method facilitates the detection of a change in the magnetic moment of the tiny magnetic vortex core which is about 1.5 × 10−17 A m2. We have investigated vortex core switching caused by excitation of the vortex core gyromode with varying frequencies and amplitudes. The frequency range in which switching occurs was found to broaden with increasing excitation amplitude, whereby the highest frequency in this range shifts stronger to higher frequencies than the lowest frequency to lower frequencies. The experimental results are in good agreement with micromagnetic simulations.

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]

2015


{XMCD studies of thin Co films on BaTiO3}
XMCD studies of thin Co films on BaTiO3

Welke, M., Gräfe, J., Govind, R. K., Babu, V. H., Trautmann, M., Schindler, K., Denecke, R.

{Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter}, 27(32), IOP Publishing, Bristol, UK, 2015 (article)

Abstract
Different layer thicknesses of cobalt ranging from 2.6 Å (1.5 ML) up to 55 Å (30.5 ML) deposited on ferroelectric BaTiO3 have been studied regarding their magnetic behavior. The layers have been characterized using XMCD spectroscopy at remanent magnetization. After careful data analysis the magnetic moments of the cobalt could be determined using the sum rule formalism. There is a sudden and abrupt onset in magnetism starting at thicknesses of 9 Å (5 ML) of cobalt for measurements at 120 K and of 10 Å (5.5 ML) if measured at room temperature. Initial island growth and subsequent coalescence of Co on BaTiO3 is suggested to explain the sudden onset. In that context, no magnetically dead layers are observed.

DOI [BibTex]

2015

DOI [BibTex]


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Combined FORC and x-ray microscopy study of magnetisation reversal in antidot lattices

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

In IEEE International Magnetics Conference (INTERMAG 2015), IEEE, Beijing, China, 2015 (inproceedings)

DOI Project Page Project Page [BibTex]

DOI Project Page Project Page [BibTex]


{Preparation and characterisation of epitaxial Pt/Cu/FeMn/Co thin films on (100)-oriented MgO single crystals}
Preparation and characterisation of epitaxial Pt/Cu/FeMn/Co thin films on (100)-oriented MgO single crystals

Schmidt, M., Gräfe, J., Audehm, P., Phillipp, F., Schütz, G., Goering, E.

{Physica Status Solidi A}, 212(10):2114-2123, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, 2015 (article)

Abstract
Different layer thicknesses of cobalt ranging from 2.6 Å (1.5 ML) up to 55 Å (30.5 ML) deposited on ferroelectric BaTiO3 have been studied regarding their magnetic behavior. The layers have been characterized using XMCD spectroscopy at remanent magnetization. After careful data analysis the magnetic moments of the cobalt could be determined using the sum rule formalism. There is a sudden and abrupt onset in magnetism starting at thicknesses of 9 Å (5 ML) of cobalt for measurements at 120 K and of 10 Å (5.5 ML) if measured at room temperature. Initial island growth and subsequent coalescence of Co on BaTiO3 is suggested to explain the sudden onset. In that context, no magnetically dead layers are observed.

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


{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]

DOI Project Page [BibTex]

2014


{Application of magneto-optical Kerr effect to first-order reversal curve measurements}
Application of magneto-optical Kerr effect to first-order reversal curve measurements

Gräfe, J., Schmidt, M., Audehm, P., Schütz, G., Goering, E.

{Review of Scientific Instruments}, 85, American Institute of Physics, Woodbury, N.Y. [etc.], 2014 (article)

Abstract
First-order reversal curves (FORC) are a powerful method for magnetic sample characterization, separating all magnetic states of an investigated system according to their coercivity and internal magnetic interactions. A major drawback of using measurement techniques like VSM or SQUID, typically applied for FORC acquisition, is the long measurement time, limiting the resolution and the number of measurements due to time constraints. Faster techniques like MOKE result in problems regarding measurement stability over the curse of the acquisition of many minor loops, due to drift and non-absolute magnetization values. Here, we present an approach using a specialized field shape providing two anchor points for each minor loop for applying the magneto-optical Kerr effect (MOKE) technique to FORC measurements. This results in a high field resolution while keeping the total acquisition time to only a few minutes. MOKE FORC measurements are exemplarily applied to a simple permalloy film, an exchange-bias system, and a Gd/Fe multilayer system with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy, showcasing the versatility of the method.

DOI Project Page [BibTex]

2014

DOI Project Page [BibTex]


{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]

DOI [BibTex]

2013


{Switching modes in easy and hard axis magnetic reversal in a self-assembled antidot array}
Switching modes in easy and hard axis magnetic reversal in a self-assembled antidot array

Haering, F., Wiedwald, U., Nothelfer, S., Koslowski, B., Ziemann, P., Lechner, L., Wallucks, A., Lebecki, K., Nowak, U., Gräfe, J., Goering, E., Schütz, G.

{Nanotechnology}, 24, IOP Pub., Bristol, UK, 2013 (article)

Abstract
We study the reversal mechanisms in a self-assembled, hexagonally ordered Fe antidot array with a period of 200 nm and an antidot diameter of 100 nm which was prepared by polystyrene nanosphere lithography. Direction-dependent information in such a self-assembled sample is obtained by measuring the anisotropic magnetoresistance (AMR) through constrictions processed by focused ion beam milling in nearest neighbor and next nearest neighbor directions. We show that such an originally integral method can be used to investigate the strong in-plane anisotropy introduced by the antidot lattice. The easy and hard axis reversal mechanisms and corresponding AMR signals are modeled by micromagnetic simulations. Additional in-field magnetic force microscopy studies allow the correlation of microscopic switching to features in the integral AMR. We find that the easy axis of magnetization is connected to a distinct periodic magnetic domain pattern, which can be observed during the whole magnetization reversal. While this process is driven by nucleation and propagation of reversed domains, the hard axis reversal is characterized by a (stepwise) rotation of the magnetization via the antidot lattice' easy axes.

DOI Project Page [BibTex]

2013

DOI Project Page [BibTex]