Tailoring the magnetic order in mesoscopic spin systems
- Location: Polhemssalen, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala
- Doctoral student: Stopfel, Henry
- About the dissertation
- Organiser: Materialfysik
- Contact person: Stopfel, Henry
Mesoscopic spin systems can be designed and fabricated using modern nano-fabrication techniques. These systems can contain large numbers of patterned ferromagnetic elements, for which the shape will generally determine their effective mesospin dimensionality. The lateral arrangement of these mesospins can be further used to tune the interactions between them.
With an appropriate choice of material, it is possible to define a temperature range where thermal fluctuations of these mesospins are experimentally accessible. To actively define this range, we use δ-doped Palladium, a three-layer system of Palladium—Iron—Palladium, for which the Curie-temperature scales with the Iron layer thickness. The patterned mesoscopic elements used in this work have a stadium-like shape that promotes a single magnetic domain state, thus making these islands behave as one-dimensional Ising-like mesospins that can be observed using magnetic imaging techniques.
We investigate the impact on the magnetic order resulting from modifications of the square spin ice geometry. By adding, removing and merging elements in the square artificial spin ice architecture, energy-landscape variations can be realized. Firstly, an added interaction modifier is used to equilibrate the interactions between the mesospins at the vertex level, which can restore the degenerate ground state of the square spin ice model. Secondly, the removal of elements can lead to topologically frustrated spin systems, as not all building blocks can simultaneously be in their lowest energy state. Furthermore, the merging results in multiple element sizes in the mesospin system. As the magnetization reversal barrier is dependent on the element size, these mesospin systems have different energy barriers. The thermal ordering process in such a system differs from a single-size element system with its unique energy barrier. Using reciprocal space analysis tools like the magnetic spin structure factor we show that systems with multiple element sizes achieve a higher short-range order then their single-size element references. The magnetic order in mesoscopic spin systems could successfully be tailored by modifications of the lattice geometry.