Anisotropy-induced spin reorientation in chemically modulated amorphous ferrimagnetic films

E. Kirk, C. Bull, S. Finizio, H. Sepehri-Amin, S. Wintz, A. K. Suszka, N. S. Bingham, P. Warnicke, K. Hono, P. W. Nutter, J. Raabe, G. Hrkac, T. Thomson, L. J. Heyderman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The ability to tune the competition between the in-plane and out-of-plane orientation of magnetization provides a means to construct thermal sensors with a sharp spin reorientation transition at specific temperatures. We have observed such a tuneable, temperature-driven spin reorientation in structurally amorphous, ferrimagnetic rare-earth transition-metal alloy thin films using scanning transmission x-ray microscopy and magnetic measurements. The nature of the spin reorientation transition in FeGd can be fully explained by a nonequilibrium, nanoscale modulation of the chemical composition of the films. This modulation leads to a magnetic domain pattern of nanoscale speckles superimposed on a background of in-plane domains that form Landau configurations in μm-scale patterned elements. It is this speckle magnetic structure that gives rise to a sharp two-step reversal mechanism that is temperature dependent. The possibility to balance competing anisotropies through the temperature opens opportunities to create and manipulate topological spin textures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number074403
JournalPhysical Review Materials
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jul
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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