[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Magnetization reversal and the effect of patterning have been investigated in full-film and dot arrays of Co/Pd multilayers, using the first-order reversal curve and scanning electron microscopy with polarization analysis techniques. The effect of patterning is most pronounced in low sputtering pressure films, where the size of contiguous domains is larger than the dot size. Upon patterning, each dot must have its own domain nucleation site and domain propagation is limited within the dot. In graded anisotropy samples, the magnetically soft layer facilitates the magnetization reversal, once the reverse domains have nucleated.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The dependence of the magnetization profile of Co/Pd multilayer films with very thin individual layers, Co(0.4 nm)/Pd(0.6 nm), on the energy of ion milling is investigated using scanning electron microscopy with polarization analysis (SEMPA). The effect of Ar ion milling on the Co/Pd magnetization angle distribution is compared for ion milling at 50 eV, 1 keV, and 2 keV. We find that 1 and 2 keV Ar ion milling causes a measurable change in the out-of-plane magnetization angle distribution as material is removed, but ion milling with 50 eV Ar ions does not significantly alter the magnetization. This enables quantitative imaging of all three vector components of the surface magnetization of the Co/Pd multilayer films with 20 nm lateral spatial resolution using SEMPA.