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Durham University

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Publication details for Professor Del Atkinson

Burn, D.M., Hase, T.P.A. & Atkinson, D. (2014). Focused-ion-beam induced interfacial intermixing of magnetic bilayers for nanoscale control of magnetic properties. Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter 26(23): 236002.

Author(s) from Durham


Modification of the magnetic properties in a thin-film ferromagnetic/non-magnetic bilayer system by low-dose focused ion-beam (FIB) induced intermixing is demonstrated. The highly localized capability of FIB may be used to locally control magnetic behaviour at the nanoscale. The magnetic, electronic and structural properties of NiFe/Au bilayers were investigated as a function of the interfacial structure that was actively modified using focused Ga+ ion irradiation. Experimental work used MOKE, SQUID, XMCD as well as magnetoresistance measurements to determine the magnetic behavior and grazing incidence x-ray reflectivity to elucidate the interfacial structure. Interfacial intermixing, induced by low-dose irradiation, is shown to lead to complex changes in the magnetic behavior that are associated with monotonic structural evolution of the interface. This behavior may be explained by changes in the local atomic environment within the interface region resulting in a combination of processes including the loss of moment on Ni and Fe, an induced moment on Au and modifications to the spin-orbit coupling between Au and NiFe.