56 research outputs found

    Precipitating Ordered Skyrmion Lattices from Helical Spaghetti

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    Magnetic skyrmions have been the focus of intense research due to their potential applications in ultra-high density data and logic technologies, as well as for the unique physics arising from their antisymmetric exchange term and topological protections. In this work we prepare a chiral jammed state in chemically disordered (Fe, Co)Si consisting of a combination of randomly-oriented magnetic helices, labyrinth domains, rotationally disordered skyrmion lattices and/or isolated skyrmions. Using small angle neutron scattering, (SANS) we demonstrate a symmetry-breaking magnetic field sequence which disentangles the jammed state, resulting in an ordered, oriented skyrmion lattice. The same field sequence was performed on a sample of powdered Cu2OSeO3 and again yields an ordered, oriented skyrmion lattice, despite relatively non-interacting nature of the grains. Micromagnetic simulations confirm the promotion of a preferred skyrmion lattice orientation after field treatment, independent of the initial configuration, suggesting this effect may be universally applicable. Energetics extracted from the simulations suggest that approaching a magnetic hard axis causes the moments to diverge away from the magnetic field, increasing the Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya energy, followed subsequently by a lattice re-orientation. The ability to facilitate an emergent ordered magnetic lattice with long-range orientation in a variety of materials despite overwhelming internal disorder enables the study of skyrmions even in imperfect powdered or polycrystalline systems and greatly improves the ability to rapidly screen candidate skyrmion materials

    Correlation between microstructure and magnetotransport in organic semiconductor spin valve structures

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    We have studied magnetotransport in organic-inorganic hybrid multilayer junctions. In these devices, the organic semiconductor (OSC) Alq3_3 (tris(8-hydroxyquinoline) aluminum) formed a spacer layer between ferromagnetic (FM) Co and Fe layers. The thickness of the Alq3_3 layer was in the range of 50-150 nm. Positive magnetoresistance (MR) was observed at 4.2 K in a current perpendicular to plane geometry, and these effects persisted up to room temperature. The devices' microstructure was studied by X-ray reflectometry, Auger electron spectroscopy and polarized neutron reflectometry (PNR). The films show well-defined layers with modest average chemical roughness (3-5 nm) at the interface between the Alq3_3 and the surrounding FM layers. Reflectometry shows that larger MR effects are associated with smaller FM/Alq3_3 interface width (both chemical and magnetic) and a magnetically dead layer at the Alq3_3/Fe interface. The PNR data also show that the Co layer, which was deposited on top of the Alq3_3, adopts a multi-domain magnetic structure at low field and a perfect anti-parallel state is not obtained. The origins of the observed MR are discussed and attributed to spin coherent transport. A lower bound for the spin diffusion length in Alq3_3 was estimated as 43±543 \pm 5 nm at 80 K. However, the subtle correlations between microstructure and magnetotransport indicate the importance of interfacial effects in these systems.Comment: 21 pages, 11 figures and 2 table

    Polarization-analyzed small-angle neutron scattering. II. Mathematical angular analysis

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    Polarization-analyzed small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) is a powerful tool for the study of magnetic morphology with directional sensitivity. Building upon polarized scattering theory, this article presents simplified procedures for the reduction of longitudinally polarized SANS into terms of the three mutually orthogonal magnetic scattering contributions plus a structural contribution. Special emphasis is given to the treatment of anisotropic systems. The meaning and significance of scattering interferences between nuclear and magnetic scattering and between the scattering from magnetic moments projected onto distinct orthogonal axes are discussed in detail. Concise tables summarize the algorithms derived for the most commonly encountered conditions. These tables are designed to be used as a reference in the challenging task of extracting the full wealth of information available from polarization-analyzed SANS

    Ionic Tuning of Cobaltites at the Nanoscale

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    Control of materials through custom design of ionic distributions represents a powerful new approach to develop future technologies ranging from spintronic logic and memory devices to energy storage. Perovskites have shown particular promise for ionic devices due to their high ion mobility and sensitivity to chemical stoichiometry. In this work, we demonstrate a solid-state approach to control of ionic distributions in (La,Sr)CoO3_{3} thin films. Depositing a Gd capping layer on the perovskite film, oxygen is controllably extracted from the structure, up-to 0.5 O/u.c. throughout the entire 36 nm thickness. Commensurate with the oxygen extraction, the Co valence state and saturation magnetization show a smooth continuous variation. In contrast, magnetoresistance measurements show no-change in the magnetic anisotropy and a rapid increase in the resistivity over the same range of oxygen stoichiometry. These results suggest significant phase separation, with metallic ferromagnetic regions and oxygen-deficient, insulating, non-ferromagnetic regions, forming percolated networks. Indeed, X-ray diffraction identifies oxygen-vacancy ordering, including transformation to a brownmillerite crystal structure. The unexpected transformation to the brownmillerite phase at ambient temperature is further confirmed by high-resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy which shows significant structural - and correspondingly chemical - phase separation. This work demonstrates room-temperature ionic control of magnetism, electrical resistivity, and crystalline structure in a 36 nm thick film, presenting new opportunities for ionic devices that leverage multiple material functionalities

    Particle Moment Canting in CoFe2O4 Nanoparticles

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    Polarization-analyzed small-angle neutron scattering methods are used to determine the spin morphology in high crystalline anisotropy, 11 nm diameter CoFe2O4 nanoparticle assemblies with randomly oriented easy axes. In moderate to high magnetic fields, the nanoparticles adopt a uniformly canted structure, rather than forming domains, shells, or other arrangements. The observed canting angles agree quantitatively with those predicted from an energy model dominated by Zeeman and anisotropy competition, with implications for the technological use of such nanoparticles
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