First order reversal curves (FORC) analysis of individual magnetic nanostructures using micro-Hall magnetometry.

The Review of scientific instruments

PubMedID: 27910450

Pohlit M, Eibisch P, Akbari M, Porrati F, Huth M, Müller J. First order reversal curves (FORC) analysis of individual magnetic nanostructures using micro-Hall magnetometry. Rev Sci Instrum. 2016;87(11):113907.
Alongside the development of artificially created magnetic nanostructures, micro-Hall magnetometry has proven to be a versatile tool to obtain high-resolution hysteresis loop data and access dynamical properties. Here we explore the application of First Order Reversal Curves (FORC)-a technique well-established in the field of paleomagnetism for studying grain-size and interaction effects in magnetic rocks-to individual and dipolar-coupled arrays of magnetic nanostructures using micro-Hall sensors. A proof-of-principle experiment performed on a macroscopic piece of a floppy disk as a reference sample well known in the literature demonstrates that the FORC diagrams obtained by magnetic stray field measurements using home-built magnetometers are in good agreement with magnetization data obtained by a commercial vibrating sample magnetometer. We discuss in detail the FORC diagrams and their interpretation of three different representative magnetic systems, prepared by the direct-write Focused Electron Beam Induced Deposition (FEBID) technique: (1) an isolated Co-nanoisland showing a simple square-shaped hysteresis loop, (2) a more complex CoFe-alloy nanoisland exhibiting a wasp-waist-type hysteresis, and (3) a cluster of interacting Co-nanoislands. Our findings reveal that the combination of FORC and micro-Hall magnetometry is a promising tool to investigate complex magnetization reversal processes within individual or small ensembles of nanomagnets grown by FEBID or other fabrication methods. The method provides sub-µm spatial resolution and bridges the gap of FORC analysis, commonly used for studying macroscopic samples and rather large arrays, to studies of small ensembles of interacting nanoparticles with the high moment sensitivity inherent to micro-Hall magnetometry.