Combined optical and force microscopy of patterned magnetic films
ABSTRACT Combined magneto-optic indicator film (MOIF) and magnetic force microscopy (MFM) is introduced as an advanced tool for the characterization of patterned ferromagnetic films. The MOIF technique combines quantitative stray field imaging of individual micron-sized magnetic elements with a large-area overview of the patterned film while MFM provides nanometer spatial resolution. In order to demonstrate the potential of this approach, lithographically patterned CoPt films with out-of-plane anisotropy were characterized. The large-scale MOIF images reveal variations of the magnetization state and the magnetization reversal among individual magnetic elements. Corresponding high-resolution MFM images relate these results to the micromagnetic configuration of the elements.