In this work we show that the measurement of single magnetic reversal events is of critical importance in order to correctly characterize the switching of magnetic microstructures. Magnetoresistance measurements are performed on two pseudo-spin-valve ring structures with high enough signal to noise to allow the probing of single reversal events. Using this technique we acquire 'switching spectra' which demonstrate that the rings exhibit a range of variable reversal paths, including a bistable reversal mechanism of the hard layer, where the two switching routes have substantially different switching fields. The signature of the variable reversal paths would have been obscured in field cycle averaged data and in the bistable case would cause a fundamental misinterpretation of the reversal behaviour.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films