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Magnetization Dynamics of

Nanostructured Ferromagnetic Rings


and Rectangular Elements
Dissertation
zur Erlangung des Doktorgrades
am Fachbereich Physik
der Universit at Hamburg
vorgelegt von
Fabian Giesen
aus Leverkusen
Hamburg 2005
Gutachter der Dissertation: Prof. Dr. D. Heitmann
Prof. Dr. U. Merkt
Prof. Dr. Th. Rasing
Gutachter der Disputation: Prof. Dr. D. Heitmann
Prof. Dr. R. Wiesendanger
Datum der Disputation: 25.05.2005
Vorsitzender des Pr ufungsausschusses: Prof. Dr. J. Kotzler
Vorsitzender des Promotionsausschusses: Prof. Dr. G. Huber
Dekan des Fachbereiches Physik: Prof. Dr. G. Huber
Vxori liaeqve
Inhaltsangabe
Im Rahmen dieser Arbeit wurde ein Spektrometer zur Messung der Mag-
netisierungsdynamik ferromagnetischer Filme und Mikrostrukturen entwor-
fen und konstruiert. Das Spektrometer basiert auf induktiver Detektion
durch miniaturisierte Wellenleiter. Es arbeitet sowohl im Frequenzbereich
von 45 MHz bis 20 GHz mithilfe eines Vektor-Netzwerkanalysators, als auch
im Zeitbereich mit einer Auosung von 2 ps mit einem TDR Sampling-
Oszilloskop (TDR: time domain reectometry).
Es wurden mikrostrukturierte rechteckige und ringformige Permalloy El-
emente untersucht. In rechteckigen Mikrostrukturen mit systematisch vari-
ierenden Abmessungen wurden quantisierte Damon-Eshbach Spinwellen bis
zur Ordnung n = 4 beobachtet. Es konnten nur Moden mit symmetrischen
Modenprolen detektiert werden. Dies wird zur uckgef uhrt auf das homo-
gene anregende Magnetfeld sowie auf die integrale induktive Detektion des
Wellenleiters. Die Moden konnten mit einem theoretischen Modell aus der
Literatur hervorragend beschrieben werden. Dar uber hinaus wurde eine
weitere Mode detektiert, die in einem Potenzialtopf f ur Spinwellen lokalisiert
zu sein scheint, wie aus der Literatur bekannt ist. Der Mechanismus der
Modenlokalisierung wurde diskutiert.
In ferromagnetischen Ringen wurde gezeigt, dass die quasistatischen
Magnetisierungskongurationen eindeutig dem Absorptionsspektrum zuor-
denbar sind. Mithilfe eines aueren Magnetfeldes kann auf diese Weise das
Modenspektrum kontrolliert eingestellt werden. Ein Groteil der magneto-
dynamischen Eigenschaften schmaler Ringe konnte mit einem in dieser Ar-
beit entwickelten phanomenologischen Modell quantitativ beschrieben wer-
den. Es wurden experimentelle Hinweise auf eine Modenlokalisierung einiger
Moden in verschiedenen Ringsegmenten gefunden, die weiterhin durch mikro-
magnetische Simulationen bestatigt wurde und im Rahmen der Theorie der
Dipol-Austausch-Spinwellen auch theoretisch erklart werden konnte. Auf-
grund der Lokalisierung spielt die Kr ummung des Ringes f ur einige Moden
eine untergeordnete Rolle, was die sehr gute Beschreibbarkeit mit dem phano-
menologischen Modell begr undet.
Weiterhin wurden asymmetrische Ringe untersucht. Ihre magnetody-
namischen Eigenschaften lieen sich konsistent im Rahmen der Moden-
lokalisierung interpretieren. Es wurden experimentelle Hinweise darauf ge-
funden, dass asymmetrische Ringe immer denselben, durch das auere Feld
einstellbaren Drehsinn im Vortexzustand zeigen.
Abstract
In the framework of this thesis a spectrometer for the measurement of high
frequency dynamics of ferromagnetic thin lms and microstructures has been
designed and realized. The spectrometer is based on the inductive detection
by miniaturized waveguides. It works in the frequency range between 45
MHz and 20 GHz as well as in the time domain with a resolution down to
2 ps. As a signal source and detector a vector network analyzer is used in
the frequency domain and a TDR sampling oscilloscope in the time domain
(TDR: time domain reectometry).
With this spectrometer rectangular and ring shaped permalloy elements
were investigated. In rectangular permalloy microstructures with systemat-
ically varied lateral dimensions quantized Damon-Eshbach spin wave modes
were observed up to order n = 4. Only modes with symmetric mode proles
could be detected. This is due to the homogeneous excitation magnetic eld
and the integral inductive detection of the waveguide. The modes could be
excellently described with a theoretical model from the literature. A further
mode was detected, which is localized in a potential well for spin waves, as
has been found recently. The mechanism of mode localization was discussed.
It was shown that the high frequency absorption of ferromagnetic rings
is unambiguously attributable to the magnetostatic magnetization congu-
ration. By means of an applied eld, the mode spectrum can thus be con-
trolled. Many of the magnetodynamic properties of narrow ferromagnetic
rings could be quantitatively described with a phenomenological model de-
veloped in this thesis. Experimental evidence for a localization of some
modes in dierent ring segments was found. The observation was corrob-
orated by micromagnetic simulations and could be conrmed in the frame
work of the theory of dipole-exchange spin waves. Due to the localization
the curvature of the ring plays only a subordinate role, which explains the
satisfactory results of the phenomenological model.
Furthermore asymmetric rings were investigated. Their magnetody-
namic properties could consistently be interpreted in the mode localization
picture. Experimental observations imply that the vortex circulation di-
rection of asymmetric rings is always the same coming from a particular
saturation direction. It can thus be chosen by the direction of the initial
saturating eld.
Contents
1 Introduction 9
2 Theoretical Background 13
2.1 Magnetostatics of Ferromagnets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
2.1.1 Exchange Interaction - Quantized and Continuous . . 14
2.1.2 Magnetostatic Self-Energy or Demagnetization . . . . 18
2.2 Dynamics in Ferromagnets:
The Landau-Lifshitz and Gilbert Equation . . . . . . . . . . . 20
2.3 Dynamic Susceptibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
2.4 Smit-Beljers Formulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
2.5 Dipole-Exchange Spin Wave Spectrum . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
2.5.1 Spin Wave Dispersion of an Innite Thin Film . . . . 31
2.6 Micromagnetic Simulations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
3 Experimental Methods 37
3.1 Broadband Spectrometer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
3.1.1 Frequency Domain and Network Analyzer Ferromag-
netic Resonance (VNA-FMR) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
3.1.2 Time Domain and Pulsed Inductive Microwave Mag-
netometer (PIMM) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
3.2 Calculation of the Inductive Voltage Signal . . . . . . . . . . 45
3.2.1 Step Response . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
3.2.2 Impulse Response . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
3.2.3 Harmonic Response . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
3.3 Coplanar Waveguide Structures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
3.3.1 Characteristic Impedance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
3.3.2 Transmission of Electromagnetic Waves -
The Need for Impedance Matching . . . . . . . . . . . 52
3.3.3 Coplanar Waveguide Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
6
Contents 7
3.3.4 Coplanar Waveguide Field Prole . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
3.4 Sample Fabrication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
3.5 Magnetic Force Microscopy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
4 Magnetization Dynamics of Rectangular Elements 62
4.1 Magnetostatics of Rectangular Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
4.2 Magnetization Dynamics: PIMM and FMR Data . . . . . . . 66
4.2.1 Frequency Domain Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
4.2.2 Time Domain Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
4.3 Theory of Quantized Spin Waves in Rectangular Elements . . 69
4.4 Quantized Spin Waves Detected With Inductive Detection . . 72
5 Magnetostatics of Patterned Mesoscopic Rings 79
5.1 Micromagnetic Simulations of Spin Congurations and Re-
versal Mechanisms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
5.2 An MFM Investigation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83
6 Magnetization Dynamics of Rings 88
6.1 Overview of the Experimental Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
6.2 Hysteretic FMR in Rings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92
6.3 Dipolar Mode Localization in the High Field Regime . . . . . 100
6.3.1 Dependence of the Absorption Spectrum on the Ring
Width . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100
6.3.2 Angular Dependence of the Main Resonance Modes . 105
6.3.3 Micromagnetic Simulations of Ring Dynamics . . . . . 110
6.3.4 Analytical Approach for the Description of Mode Lo-
calization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114
6.4 Low Field Regime . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119
6.4.1 Vortex Self-Biasing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119
6.4.2 Steps in the Vortex State Dispersion . . . . . . . . . . 122
6.4.3 Triple Switching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
7 Vortex Circulation Control
and Mode Spectrum of Asymmetric Rings 128
7.1 Magnetostatic Characterization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130
7.2 Mode Spectrum of Asymmetric Rings . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134
7.3 Evidence for Vortex Circulation Control . . . . . . . . . . . . 138
7.4 Minor Loops and Angular Dependence . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143
8 Summary and Outlook 148
8 Contents
A Demagnetizing Field of a Transversely Magnetized Wire 151
B Operation Principle of Network Analyzer and Sampling Os-
cilloscope 154
B.0.1 Network Analyzer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 154
B.0.2 Sampling Oscilloscope . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156
Bibliography 158
Publications 167
Acknowledgements 168
Chapter 1
Introduction
Ferromagnetic thin lms and micron-sized magnetic elements have been the
focus of intense research activities driven by the concomitant progress in
lithography and characterization techniques. The interplay of local and
non-local energy contributions as well as the large number of degrees of
freedom in ferromagnets can be mastered for suciently small elements
with lateral dimensions on the micrometer scale. In systems with su-
ciently reduced dimensions the knowledge of a small number of elementary
structures such as domains, several types of domain walls and vortices is
often enough for an understanding. Additionally the computational power
available today suces for the simulation of such small elements. Espe-
cially the dynamics of micron-sized elements has led to a lot of interesting
physical results covering a wide area of fundamental physics, such as quan-
tum physics (quantized waves in wires and disks, localization, dipolar tun-
nelling) [Mat98, Jor99, Dem04b] and non linear physics (spin wave bullets,
soliton formation, symmetry breaking) [Bau98, Dem03]. In particular in the
area of spin torque eects, dynamical measurements have opened new doors
to promote the understanding of this thriving and booming research eld
[Rip04, Kis03].
On the applications side magnetic data storage with its promise of non-
volatility, robustness, high speed and low energy dissipation has long been
appealing. It can already be encountered in a number of applications such
as smart cards, hard drives, thin lm read heads or video tapes. Industry
activities are also directed to replace semiconductor random access mem-
ories by magnet based memory devices. Logical 0 and 1 are encoded by
the direction of the magnetization of a small magnetic element, such as a
giant magnetoresistance or tunnelling magnetoresistance element. For data
9
10 Chapter 1. Introduction
manipulation (reading and writing) the magnetization has to be reversed
(switched) between the two equilibrium positions. In order to push forward
data transfer rates which are already in the GHz range, one has to develop
strategies for ultrashort switching with little energy dissipation. To this
end an understanding of the dynamic motion and the mode spectrum is
necessary. Precessional switching employs a transient magnetic eld pulse
which drives a large angle precessional motion. If the switching is precession
dominated (as opposed to relaxation dominated) it can be as fast as 165 ps
[Sch03b]. The fundamental switching speed is reached when the magnetiza-
tion rotates as one giant vector (macrospin) on a ballistic trajectory. Then
the speed is determined by material parameters and the shape of the ele-
ment. Ground-breaking work that promoted a basic understanding in the
area of precessional switching came from experiments with electron bunches
[Bac98, Bac99, Tud04], experiments with GMR spin valves [Sch03b, Sch03a]
and experiments with ferromagnetic microstructures [Hie97, Ger02, Bau00].
Due to these interesting and promising results the eld of magnetization
dynamics shows nowadays great activity.
Until some years ago, the investigation of (small angle) magnetization dy-
namics was dominated by the technique of Ferromagnetic Resonance (FMR),
which has been extremely fruitful in the determination of magnetic prop-
erties of homogeneously magnetized materials [Far98]. The application to
inhomogeneously magnetized samples is feasible [Ebe99], although much
more involved: Due to the resonant nature of the experiment there is usu-
ally exactly one external magnetic eld at which the resonance condition
(xed frequency f
res
of the cavity) is fullled. In conventional FMR there-
fore mainly saturated samples are investigated. One is, however, strongly
interested in the wealth of inhomogeneous spin congurations, for example
ux closure states, of patterned magnetic elements. As a consequence a
technique is needed which gives information at any applied magnetic eld
in the measurement range in order to gain access to all spin congurations.
This illustrates the need for broadband techniques.
The aim of this thesis is to devise and apply such a novel broadband
microwave spectrometer that is capable of measuring the magnetization dy-
namics of well dened spin congurations in micron-sized magnetic elements.
In our case these are rectangular elements, disks, and rings. The apparatus
is based on the inductive response to a high frequency excitation. The exci-
tation magnetic eld is either sinusoidal in frequency domain measurements
or a transient pulse in time domain measurements. It is delivered to the
sample by a high frequency waveguide. The response of the sample is in-
ductively picked up by the same micron sized high frequency waveguide and
11
detected either by a vector network analyzer (VNA-FMR) in the frequency
domain or a fast sampling oscilloscope (pulsed inductive microwave magne-
tometer or PIMM [Sil99]) in the time domain. It covers the frequency range
between 45 MHz and 20 GHz. The time resolution is 2 ps. The ability to
measure in the complementary domains allows for the investigation of small
and large angle dynamical motion of the magnetization. In this thesis only
the small angle regime is investigated. The broadband spectrometer uses all-
electrical excitation and detection, which makes it possible to construct a
very stable and compact set-up with table-top dimensions. The all-electrical
excitation and detection may also provide a great versatility in the future for
the investigation of spin-injection in ferromagnet-semiconductor devices and
spin-torque devices. Also low-temperature measurements on novel materi-
als are possible with the developed technique. This makes us condent that
VNA-FMR and PIMM will also become an established technique in the eld
of spin dynamics. Our method is complementary to established techniques
like Brillouin light scattering in the frequency domain and the magneto optic
Kerr eect in the time domain, which can both additionally be used as imag-
ing techniques with submicron resolution [Fre03, Hie97, Acr00, Dem04a].
Let us motivate our choice of sample types. Patterned rectangular mag-
netic elements display well dened spin congurations. Especially the sat-
urated state was thoroughly investigated in the last couple of years. Long
magnetic wires show a quantization of spin waves [Mat98, Jor99] and the
existence of spin wave wells at the edges. Multiple exchange dominated
spin waves can exist in these spin wave wells (localized modes) [Bay03b].
The rectangular geometry with saturated magnetization is simple enough
to allow for an analytical treatment of the spin dynamics [Gus03] that takes
into account the inhomogeneity of the internal eld, which is present even
when the magnetization is homogeneous. It also allows to make testable
theoretical statements about the dynamical boundary conditions in such
patterned elements [Gus02]. Also inhomogeneously magnetized stripes were
investigated [Par02] and localized modes at the stripe edges were reported
for an intermediate external eld applied perpendicular to the stripe. It
was shown shortly afterwards that these modes only appear to be localized
because the wave vector in the central part of the stripe region varies so
fast that it cannot be resolved even with the already impressive achievable
spatial resolution of Kerr microscopy [Bay04]. But also ux-closure states
show interesting features. Only very recently was a longitudinal and trans-
verse quantization of spin waves in permalloy squares with a ux-closure
state found [Per05]. Investigations of the gyrotropic motion of vortices in
disks [Par03, Bue04] and rectangles [Par03, Cho04, Sto04] consistently re-
12 Chapter 1. Introduction
port frequencies in the MHz or low GHz range for the vortex motion and
for modes located in domain walls. Detailed microscopic pictures for these
ndings are in the course of development. Due to this wealth and the good
ground work laid for rectangular elements it is also interesting to investigate
these samples with our complementary measurement technique.
In the last couple of years, ferromagnetic rings have attracted great in-
terest [Kla03b]. The ring geometry combines perfectly the potential for
technological applications [Pri96] with properties that make them interest-
ing for fundamental science. They have a high technological potential due to
the stray eld free vortex or ux-closure state and the nucleation free switch-
ing. The absence of any stray-eld in the vortex state allows one to put rings
arbitrarily close together without any unwanted interaction, thereby likely
enabling an unprecedented storage density (bits per unit area). It should,
however, also be noted that the lithography of rings is more complicated as
for example for ellipses. The minimum feature size of the latter is the short
half-axis whereas in a ring it is the width. Ellipses can therefore be made
smaller. For us, the main reason for the interest accorded to rings is that
they are a model system with well dened magnetization congurations,
well dened domain walls, and a system whose properties can largely be
controlled by only a small set of geometrical parameters, basically thickness
and width. Additionally, most of the magnetization features in the rings are
very stable against the unavoidable imperfections by the patterning process
and lm growth. Such a well dened and well behaved system represents
a perfect playground for a physicist. Despite of these interesting properties
and prospects, we became aware of only a single publication experimen-
tally dealing with the dynamics of micron-scale rings during the course of
this thesis [Xu04]. Therefore the route for the main part of this thesis was
set towards the investigation of the magnetization dynamics of micron-scale
permalloy rings.
Chapter 2
Theoretical Background
In this chapter a theoretical background is provided for the description of
the magnetization dynamics of thin lms, patterned rectangles and rings. A
brief recapitulation of the principles of magnetism relevant to the following
discussion is given. Special focus is put on the eect of patterning magnetic
samples by a mathematical description of the demagnetizing eld. The
equation describing magnetization dynamics is motivated and its dierent
forms, that is the Landau-Lifshitz and the Gilbert form, are compared. The
complex dynamic susceptibility for uniform magnetization precession of a
thin lm is calculated from the Landau-Lifshitz-Gilbert equation. Since in
patterned magnets a uniform magnetization motion cannot in general be ex-
pected, we will introduce the formalism of Kalinikos and Slavin which allows
one to calculate the dipole-exchange spin wave spectrum. This theoretical
approach treats the spectrum of a magnetic element or thin lm taking into
account the competing eects of the exchange energy and the dipole energy
that in particular arise due to the shape of a magnetic sample. This an-
alytical approach is feasible for rectangular shaped samples, but becomes
very dicult for samples with further reduced geometry, such as rings. Our
experimental data on rings suggest, however, that parts of the rings can be
treated as a rectangle and that we can apply the dipole-exchange results also
to rings. We have also used the public domain micromagnetic code OOMMF
to calculate the static and dynamic behavior of rectangles and rings. The
code will be briey described.
13
14 Chapter 2. Theoretical Background
2.1 Magnetostatics of Ferromagnets
A solid sample in an external magnetic eld H
ext
will have a magnetic mo-
ment. For isotropic and linear matter they are connected by M = H,
where is the susceptibility. It is in general a tensor: . The suscepti-
bility classies magnetic solids in paramagnets, diamagnets, ferromagnets,
ferrimagnets and antiferromagnets. The samples investigated in this thesis
are all ferromagnetic. Ferromagnetic solids posses a spontaneous ordering of
their moments (i.e. ordering without external eld). This order cannot be
explained on the basis of purely classical physics. This is demonstrated by
the Bohr-van Leeuwen theorem, which excludes interaction of electrons with
an applied magnetic eld [Nol86, Aha96]. Ferromagnetism can be explained
quantum mechanically but the quantum mechanical treatment of realistic
problems is very dicult. Therefore the purely quantum mechanical formu-
lation is necessary for the conceptual understanding of ferromagnetism but
one often resorts to a semiclassical treatment with the inclusion of quantum
mechanical elements for realistic problems.
2.1.1 Exchange Interaction - Quantized and Continuous
Quantum Mechanical Formulation
The quantum mechanical mechanism that leads to ferromagnetism is called
exchange interaction. This interaction is a consequence of the symmetry
requirements on a fermionic many-electron wave function [Nol86, Aha96].
The full wave function with space and spin coordinates must be antisym-
metric. For two interacting electrons, this can lead to a so called singlet
state (symmetric in space and antisymmetric in spin) or a triplet state (an-
tisymmetric in space and symmetric in spin). Since electrons with parallel
spin may not be in the same place due to the Pauli principle the triplet state
tends to push the electrons apart and thus reduce the Coulomb repulsion.
In this way a parallel spin alignment can lead to a lowering of the total
energy of the system. This argument is often applied for the discussion of
wave functions in the H
2
molecule and is known as Heitler-London model
[Hei27].
Ferromagnets like Fe, Ni and Co as well as the alloy Ni
80
Fe
20
(permal-
loy), which we use in this thesis, are ferromagnetic due to the exchange
interaction of the itinerant 3d electrons (itinerant ferromagnets). There are
other materials which posses localized magnetic moments. The extension
of the symmetry consideration to itinerant many-electron systems is math-
ematically more involved. A qualitative argument was given by Stoner for
2.1. Magnetostatics of Ferromagnets 15
itinerant ferromagnets: Parallel alignment of spins lowers the potential en-
ergy due to the reduced Coulomb repulsion. However, this entails a greater
kinetic energy. The total energy is thus only lowered if the band structure
can accommodate a large number of electrons at the Fermi energy E
F
so
that the gain in potential energy outweighs the increase in kinetic energy
[Nol86]. This is the case for all materials used here.
For the solution of the N electron problem one has to nd the wave
function of a system of N interacting electrons in the potential of M atoms
with the following model Hamiltonian [Aha96]:
H =
N

i=1
H
i
+
1
2
N

i=1

e
2
r
ij
+H
C
. (2.1)
The rst sum is the unperturbed Hamiltonian, the second is the Coulomb
interaction and the third the potential due to the atom cores, which in-
cludes all lled electron shells. The wave function is constructed from the
N wave functions of non-interacting electrons taking into account the sym-
metry properties imposed on electron wave functions. The calculation is
beyond the scope of this introduction. It should only be remarked that
treating the Coulomb Hamiltonian as perturbation several energy terms ap-
pear in the calculation. One term is the so called direct Coulomb energy of
a pair of electrons summed over all pairs and the second one can be regarded
as a correction to the direct Coulomb energy sum because the latter does
not take into account the Pauli principle. This term represents an energy
dierence between the state of two parallel spins and the state when the two
spins are antiparallel [Aha96]. The problem can be reformulated in terms
of an eective Hamiltonian H
e
which is constructed to have the same ef-
fect on the unperturbed wave functions

as the real Hamiltonian on the
perturbed wave functions

k
[ H
e
[

k
) =
k
[ H [
k
). (2.2)
The form of this eective Hamiltonian was rst introduced by Heisen-
berg:
H
e
=

i,j
J
ij

S
i

S
j
. (2.3)
In this Hamiltonian J
ij
is called the exchange integral. If it is nega-
tive, Eq. 2.3 predicts an antiparallel alignment of neighboring spins, if it is
positive a parallel alignment of spins (ferromagnetism). The exact form of
16 Chapter 2. Theoretical Background
the exchange integral is very dicult to nd from ab-initio calculations but
one may hope for better results as computational power increases. Because
the exchange integral is due to the overlap of wave functions the exchange
interaction is very short range. In (2.3) usually a summation over the next
neighbors is sucient.
Let us nally remark that ferromagnets show a phase transition at a
temperature called Curie temperature, T
C
, from a ferro- to a paramagnetic
phase. Since the Curie temperature of the alloy Ni
80
Fe
20
(permalloy) used
in this thesis is far above room temperature we will not have to refer to the
phase transition further.
Continuous Formulation
Because the purely quantum mechanical formulation is feasible only up to a
few atoms one needs a semi-classical theory which includes the exchange in-
teraction and also incorporates Maxwells theory of electromagnetism. Such
a continuous formulation is needed for the calculation of the spin wave spec-
trum of patterned magnets where the dipole and exchange contribution must
be taken into account (Sec. 2.5).
We consider the spin operators in the Heisenberg Hamiltonian Eq. 2.3
to be vectors. Then the exchange energy can be rewritten as
E
ex
=

ij

J
ij
S
i
S
j
= JS
2

n.n.
cos
ij
, (2.4)
where n.n. stands for nearest neighbors and
ij
denotes the angle between
S
i
and S
j
. (See Fig. 2.1). We also assumed identical atoms, so that J
ij
= J.
One can easily verify that [S
i
S
j
[
2
= 2S
2
(1cos
ij
). Inserting this in (2.4)
gives:
E
ex
= 2S
2
J

i,j
_
1
1
2S
2
[S
i
S
j
[
2
_
. (2.5)
By redening the reference energy level (renormalization), one can omit
the constant term. Now let the magnetization M be continuous, not only
dened on the lattice, and assume it varies very slowly on the length scale
of the atomic lattice, which is certainly the case because the exchange in-
teraction is very strong. Then one can expand the remaining expression in
2.1. Magnetostatics of Ferromagnets 17
S
i
S
j
S
i
- S
j
f
ij
M r ( )
i
r
ij
M r ( )
j
FIG. 2.1: Geometry for the calculation of continuous exchange energy between the spins
S
i
and S
j
. The angle between them is
ij
. r
ij
is a lattice displacement vector.
a Taylor series:
1
S
2
[S
i
S
j
[
2
=
1
M
2
[M(r
i
) M(r
j
)[
2
=
1
M
2
[M(r
i
) M(r
i
+r
ij
)[
2
=
1
M
2
[(r
ij
)M(r
i
)[
2
+O
_

2
M
_
. (2.6)
Truncating the series after the rst order will be justied if M varies slowly
enough over the distance of a unit cell. Inserting this result in the exchange
energy expression gives:
E
ex
= JS
2

r
ij
1
M
2
[(r
ij
)M(r
i
)[
2
. (2.7)
The second sum is over all lattice vectors r
ij
from point r
i
to its next neigh-
bors. Although this sum is dependent on the lattice structure, it will yield
only a constant multiplicative factor. For cubic lattices, this factor is for
example given by A/M
2
= c JS
2
/r
ij
, where c depends on the subtypes of
cubic lattices (fcc, bcc, simple cubic). The transition from the rst sum to
an integration leads to
E
ex
=
_
w
e
dr with
w
e
=
A
M
2
_
(M
x
)
2
+ (M
y
)
2
+ (M
z
)
2

. (2.8)
w
e
is the exchange energy density, from which the eective exchange eld
can be calculated using
H
ex
=
1

0
w
e
M
=
2A

0
M
2

2
M. (2.9)
18 Chapter 2. Theoretical Background
2.1.2 Magnetostatic Self-Energy or Demagnetization
In ferromagnets the short range exchange interaction, which favors parallel
alignment, competes with the long range magnetostatic dipole interaction of
all other spins, which favors the antiparallel alignment. The energy density
of the exchange interaction is very large, but the total energy contribution
is given by the sum over a volume of about one unit cell. The much weaker
dipole interaction has to be summed over the whole specimen because it is
long range. The result is that both energy contributions are of the same
order of magnitude. The energy term due to the dipole interaction is called
magnetostatic self-energy or, for obvious reasons, demagnetizing energy. A
macroscopic consequence is that in a ferromagnet not all spins are parallel.
Instead regions, called domains, exist in which all moments are parallel but
the moments of dierent domains are not parallel.
An interesting limiting case are particles so small that the integral of
the dipole energy density over the sample volume is still smaller than the
exchange energy contribution. In such a case one expects single domain
particles. Such a behavior has for example been observed in submicron disks
in [Cow99]. For larger samples like the rectangles and rings investigated in
this work the long range dipolar interaction plays the important role and
determines the spin congurations. This eect is considered introducing the
demagnetizing eld H
dm
.
To nd an equation for H
dm
one proceeds from the magnetostatic Maxwell
equations:

0
(M+H
dm
) = 0, (2.10)
H
dm
= 0. (2.11)
The second equation shows, that the demagnetization eld can be writ-
ten as the gradient of a scalar potential
H
dm
=
M
, (2.12)
where the minus is a convention. Inserting this in Eq. 2.10 shows that the
scalar potential has to fulll the Poisson equation:

M
=
M
(2.13)
with
M
= M being the magnetic pseudo-volume charge
1
. The solution
of this ODE is known by virtue of the Greens function, which is the solution
1
It is called pseudo charge because there are no magnetic monopoles. In the present
2.1. Magnetostatics of Ferromagnets 19
to the Poisson equation for a single point-like pseudo-charge. If no boundary
conditions have to be fullled the solution reads:

M
(r) =
1
4
_
dr


r
M(r

)
[r r[
. (2.14)
If the magnetization is conned to a nite region in space, one can integrate
by parts. The integrand can be rewritten as

r
M(r

)
[r r[
=
r

_
M(r

)
[r r[
_
M(r

)
r

1
[r r[
. (2.15)
The rst expression can be transformed to a surface integral (Gauss the-
orem) which vanishes because of the nite extent of M and because no
boundary conditions were imposed. The second term

M
(r) =
1
4
_
dr

M(r

)
r

1
[r r

[
(2.16)
is inserted in (2.12) and yields the demagnetizing eld:
H
dm
=
1
4
_
dr

M(r

)
r

1
[r r

[
=
_
dr

G(r, r

)M(r

). (2.17)

G(r, r

) is the Greens tensor with the components G


ij
= [

G]
ij
:
G
ij
=
1
4

x
i

j
1
[r r

[
. (2.18)
Because of the relation (r r

) = 1/4 [r r

[
1
the trace of the Greens
tensor is the delta function:
Tr
_

G(r, r

)
_
=
1
4

2
x
2
i
1
[r r

[
= (r r

). (2.19)
In the following a derivation of demagnetizing factors is given. If there
are boundary conditions to be fullled, one has to go back to Eq. 2.13, for
which the solution now reads:

M
(r) =
1
4
_
dr


r
M(r

)
[r r

[
+
1
4
_
S(V )
dS

M(r

)
[r r

[
. (2.20)
case the name comes from the analogy with electrostatics but also the concept of a pseudo-
surface magnetic charge will be introduced. It is convenient to treat the surface dipoles
as charges. The addition pseudo signals the imprecise formulation.
20 Chapter 2. Theoretical Background
The numerator of the second integral
M
= n(r

)M(r

), with n being the sur-


face normal of the magnetic sample, is the pseudo magnetic surface charge.
If the magnetization is uniform M(r

) = M, the rst integral is zero and the


magnetization can be taken out of the integral, as well as the subsequent
dierentiation to obtain the demagnetization eld:
H
dm
(r) = M
1
4
_
S(V )
dS

r
n(r

)
[r r

[
=

N(r)M. (2.21)

N is called the demagnetizing tensor. In general it has a spatial dependence.


The case of homogeneous demagnetizing eld is only fullled by ellipsoids if
the magnetization points along one of the main axes. Then

N is independent
of position. The coordinate system can always be rotated to lie along the
principle axes of the ellipsoid, in which case the demagnetizing tensor is
diagonal and position independent, so that
H
dm
= (N
x
M
x
e
x
+N
y
M
y
e
y
+N
z
M
z
e
z
). (2.22)
An important property exists of the sum of the diagonal elements of

N.
If one applies Gauss theorem to the remaining integral in (2.21), one nds

N(r) =
1
4
_
V
dr

r

r
1
[r r

[
=
_
V
dr

G(r, r

). (2.23)
We know that the trace of the Greens tensor equals (r r

). Therefore
the trace of

N(r) equals the integral over the trace of the Greens tensor and
is one. This leads to the important relation:
Tr
_

N(r)
_
= N
x
+N
y
+N
z
= 1. (2.24)
2.2 Dynamics in Ferromagnets:
The Landau-Lifshitz and Gilbert Equation
The equation of motion for the magnetization can be derived from quantum
mechanics (with exception of the phenomenological damping) but it is more
instructive to review the semiclassical treatment. At this point, we do not
allow the magnetization to have a spatial variation so that a sample can be
described by one giant classical vector M (macrospin). This is realistic in the
case of negligible internal eld inhomogeneity, e.g. at high elds and large
samples (e.g. plain lms) or samples with a special shape (ellipsoids) and
2.2. Dynamics in Ferromagnets:
The Landau-Lifshitz and Gilbert Equation 21
(b) in the case of very small single domain particles. The eect of domain
formation and internal eld inhomogeneities are introduced later.
Semiclassically the electrons orbiting around a nucleus are current loops
with a magnetic moment m = iAn, with n the normal unit vector per-
pendicular to the area A. The dipole magnetic moment and the angular
momentum are connected by
m =
q
e
2m
e
L. (2.25)
The spin angular momentum also possesses a magnetic moment
m = S). (2.26)
The proportionality constant is called gyromagnetic ratio and is nearly ex-
actly twice the orbital momentum:
=
gq
e
2m
e
=
g
B

, (2.27)
where g = 2.0023 is the spectroscopic splitting factor (for free electrons) and

B
is Bohrs magneton. This is called the magnetomechanical anomaly and
can be explained in the framework of the relativistic Dirac equation.
The rate of change of the total angular momentum dJ/dt is proportional
to the acting torque m B
int
. The magnetic ux inside a ferromagnetic
sample may dier substantially from the applied eld due to the presence of
demagnetizing elds, anisotropy elds, magnetostrictive elds etc. Therefore
we have to clearly distinguish the applied magnetic induction B
ext
and the
internal magnetic induction B
int
. Now, we can state the equation of motion
for a magnetic moment:
dm
dt
=
dJ
dt
= = mB
int
. (2.28)
The magnetization M is the magnetic moment per unit volume,

i
m
i
/V ,
and the ux B
int
=
0
H
int
. With this, the common form of the equation of
motion is written as:
dM
dt
= [[
0
(MH
int
) . (2.29)
Geometrically, this equation describes a precession of the magnetization
vector M around the direction of the magnetic eld H
int
with constant
22 Chapter 2. Theoretical Background
H
int
M
d d M/ t
a)
H
int
M
d d M/ t
b)
M M
x x
H
int
FIG. 2.2: (a) Sketch of the precessional motion without damping as described by Eq. 2.29.
The precession angle as well as the modulus |M| are constant. (b) Motion of magnetization
vector with damping.
modulus. Taking the scalar product of both sides of Eq. 2.29 with M, one
obtains
M
dM
dt
=
1
2
dM
2
dt
= [[
0
M (MH
int
) = 0, (2.30)
which means that the magnitude of the magnetization M =[ M[ remains
constant. The same is true for the angle between M and H
int
. Taking the
derivative of the product with H
int
of both sides, one sees that
d(MH
int
)
dt
= [[
0
H
int
(MH
int
) = 0. (2.31)
These two equations state, that the magnetization vector precesses on a
circular trajectory around the magnetic eld, as depicted in Fig. 2.2 (a).
Damping
The two properties just derived show that the equation of motion is not yet
complete because it does not incorporate an energy dissipation or damp-
ing term. In a real sample the magnetization will eventually align with an
applied external eld and not precess innitely around it. Damping is intro-
duced phenomenologically. The form of the damping term is still debated,
especially in the light of spin transfer torque induced magnetization dynam-
ics [Sch04]. The Landau-Lifshitz form of the damping term states that
there is a torque that drags the magnetization vector in the direction of the
2.3. Dynamic Susceptibility 23
magnetic eld [Lan35]:
dM
dt
= [
LL
[
0
[MH
int
]

0
M
2
S
[M(MH
int
)] . (2.32)
is a phenomenological damping constant with units [] = 1/s. The range
of validity for this damping term is weak damping. At strong damping
the strange result appears that the precession is faster due to the damping.
Gilbert published a similar form [Gil55] that is equivalent for weak damping
and which lifts the just mentioned problem. The Gilbert form is introduced
analogous to viscous damping in classical mechanics. It reads:
dM
dt
= [
G
[
0
[MH
int
]
G

G
M
2
S
_
M
dM
dt
_
, (2.33)
where G is the Gilbert damping parameter. In modern literature the di-
mensionless form of the damping parameter = G/
G
M
S
is most common
and will also be used in this thesis. The relation between the gyromagnetic
ratios of the two forms is
LL
=
G
/1 +
2
and the damping parameters
are connected by
LL
= (/1 +
2
)
G

0
M
S
[Mal87]. We will reference Eq.
2.32 by the acronym LL (Landau-Lifshitz) and Eq. 2.33 LLG (for Landau-
Lifshitz-Gilbert) equation.
2.3 Dynamic Susceptibility
An expression for the dynamic susceptibility is presented by linearizing the
LLG. It is valid for bodies with homogeneous internal elds. Although this
expression for the susceptibility will be valid mainly for thin lms and only
partly to microstructures, the calculation is instructive for a basic under-
standing of magnetization dynamics.
The dynamic susceptibility connects the dynamic magnetization m(t)
with the excitation magnetic eld h
hf
(t): m = ()h
hf
. They may have dif-
ferent directions, i.e. is in general a tensor, and they may be out of phase,
i.e. the components [ ]
ij
are represented as complex numbers. Assume the
magnetization and the external magnetic eld to lie in the x direction. In
typical resonance experiments the dynamic parts are small compared to the
static ones (This is not true for switching experiments.) and we can again
safely assume [M[ to be constant. As a consequence the dynamic counter-
parts are in the y and z direction. We then have
24 Chapter 2. Theoretical Background
H
ext
=
_
_
H
ext
h
y
(t)
h
z
(t)
_
_
, M =
_
_
M
m
y
(t)
m
z
(t)
_
_
. (2.34)
For the torque on the magnetization the internal eld is important:
Consider a thin lm without magneto-crystalline anisotropies, then only
demagnetizing eects have to be taken into account by means of the demag-
netization tensor

N. The internal eld is given by H
int
= H
ext


NM. Let
us assume that

N is diagonalized, then the internal eld reads:
H
int
=
_
_
H
ext
N
x
M
h
y
(t) N
y
m
y
(t)
h
z
(t) N
z
m
z
(t)
_
_
. (2.35)
We also assume a harmonic time dependence h(t) = hexp(it) and
m(t) = mexp(it). This is inserted in the LLG equation 2.33. Since the dy-
namic components are small we keep only terms linear in these components
and obtain the coupled system of equations:
_
(
H
+ (N
y
N
x
)
M
i) i
i (
H
+ (N
z
N
x
)
M
i)
__
m
y
m
z
_
=
M
_
h
y
h
z
_
.
(2.36)
The following denitions have been used:
M
=[[
0
M and
H
=[[
0
H
ext
.
In order to obtain the susceptibility tensor the matrix in Eq. 2.36 has to be
inverted. Recall that the inverse of a 2 2 matrix is found by
x
1
=
_
x
11
x
12
x
21
x
22
_
1
=
1
Det( x)
_
x
22
x
21
x
12
x
11
_
. (2.37)
With this relation one obtains

M
Det(
1
)
_
(
H
+ (N
z
N
x
)
M
i) i
i (
H
+ (N
y
N
x
)
M
i)
__
h
y
h
z
_
=
=
_
m
y
m
z
_
.
(2.38)
The determinant of the susceptibility reads
Det(
1
) =
_

2
r
(1 +
2
)
2
_
i [2
H
+ (N
y
+N
z
2N
x
)
M
] .
(2.39)
2.3. Dynamic Susceptibility 25
Here, the denition

2
r
= (
H
+ (N
y
N
x
)
M
) (
H
+ (N
z
N
x
)
M
) (2.40)
has been used.
In our experiments a coplanar waveguide is used. Let it lie in the (x, y)-
plane and let the central conductor of our waveguide point along e
x
. The
excitation magnetic eld has only one component h
y
e
y
. The important
component of the susceptibility then reads:

yy
=

M
(
H
+ (N
z
N
x
)
M
i)
(
2
r
(1 +
2
)
2
) i [2
H
+ (N
y
+N
z
2N
x
)
M
]
. (2.41)
We can split the susceptibility in a real and an imaginary part by multiply-
ing the denominator and the numerator with the complex conjugate of the
denominator. Since
2
is on the order of 10
2
10
3
for metallic magnetic
materials, we set 1 +
2
1. This leads to

yy
=

M
(
2
r

2
)(
H
+ (N
z
N
x
)
M
) +
2

2
[2
H
+ (N
y
+N
z
2N
x
)
M
]
(
2
r

2
)
2
+
2

2
[2
H
+ (N
y
+N
z
2N
x
)
M
]
2
,

yy
=

M
_
(
2
r

2
) + (
H
+ (N
z
N
x
)
M
)(2
H
+ (N
y
+N
z
2N
x
)
M
)

(
2
r

2
)
2
+
2

2
[2
H
+ (N
y
+N
z
2N
x
)
M
]
2
.
(2.42)
Plots of the real and imaginary parts of the susceptibility are shown in
Fig. 2.3 for a thin lm (demagnetizing factors N
z
= 1, N
x
= N
y
= 0) of
permalloy with saturation magnetization
0
M = 1.3 T without anisotropy
and at an external eld of
0
H = 100 mT in the x direction. These material
parameters are typical for the experiments and the permalloy lms in this
thesis and close to literature values (
0
M = 1.081 T). One can see in Fig.
2.3 (a) that the real part is fully symmetric only for small damping. In the
literature the term
2

2
[2
H
+ (N
y
+ N
z
2N
x
)
M
], is often neglected in
the numerator of

(), which leads to symmetrical curves also for larger


damping [Sch00, Cou04]. The real part has a zero crossing at =
r
.
The imaginary part resembles a Lorentzian shape, although it is not strictly
26 Chapter 2. Theoretical Background
6 9 12 15 0 20 40 60 80 100
0
3
6
9
12
3 6 9 12

'
'

(
a
r
b
.

u
n
i
t
s
)
(a)
= 0.01
real

'
,

'
'

(
a
r
b
.

u
n
i
t
s
)
frequency f (GHz)
imaginary
= 0.005
sphere
thin film
(c)


f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f

(
G
H
z
)
magnetic field
0
H (mT)
(b)
(c)


frequency f (GHz)
FIG. 2.3: (a) Calculated real (black) and imaginary (light gray) parts of the dynamic
susceptibility for = 0.005 (upper curves) and = 0.01 (lower curves) after Eq. 2.42.
The curves are oset for clarity, the y scale is the same in (a). The parameters used for the
calculation in all three panels are taken from our experiments:
0
M = 1300 mT and =
176 GHz/T. (b) Calculated eld dependence of the imaginary part of the susceptibility.

0
H
ext
is increased in 10 mT steps from 10 mT to 100 mT (from left to right). (c)
Calculated dispersion. Since the internal eld, which governs the resonance frequency, is
geometry dependent, one can have largely dierent dispersions depending on the shape.
This is shown for a sphere (N
x
= N
y
= N
z
= 1/3) and a thin lm (N
x
= N
y
= 0, N
z
= 1)
with otherwise identical material parameters.
Lorentzian. The deviation gets stronger with stronger damping. The max-
imum is again very near the point =
r
. This frequency is called the
resonance frequency. In rewriting Eq. 2.40, one obtains the Kittel formula
[Kit48]:
f
r
=
[[
0
2
_
(H
ext
+ (N
y
N
x
)M)(H
ext
+ (N
z
N
x
)M). (2.43)
In this form it is valid for ferromagnets with homogeneous internal eld and
only demagnetizing elds present. Anisotropies are not taken into account.
Anisotropies or other contributions to the internal eld can be incorporated
by the Smit-Beljers formula (Sec. 2.4).
The calculation in Fig. 2.3 (c) illustrates the role and importance of
the shape of the ferromagnetic sample. By the choice of demagnetizing
2.4. Smit-Beljers Formulation 27
x
y
z
M

H
M
H

FIG. 2.4: Denition of coordinate system and angles for the calculation of the resonance
frequency from the free energy.
factors
2
a sphere (grey line) and a thin lm (black line) were modelled. For
a sphere for example all directions have the same stray eld and one obtains
a Larmor-like linear dependence, whereas for a thin lm the typical square
root dependence on the applied eld H is found [Fig. 2.3(c)]. The shape
has a strong inuence on the internal eld of a ferromagnet and thus on the
resonance frequency. Let me point out, however, that in patterned elements
the demagnetizing eld will be inhomogeneous and a uniform precession will
be present only under certain conditions or on a local scale, as in rings.
2.4 Smit-Beljers Formulation
It is often desirable to directly calculate the resonance frequencies for an
experiment without solving the equation of motion. The Smit-Beljers for-
mulation accomplishes this by formulating an expression for the resonance
frequency in terms of the samples free energy. It is extremely useful once
complex anisotropies enter the problem and one wishes to know the angular
dependence of resonance frequencies. Let us neglect the damping term and
parametrize the magnetization by its polar and azimuthal components (see
Fig. 2.4), M = (M cos sin ) e
x
+(M sinsin) e
y
+(M cos ) e
z
. Equation
2
Finite rectangular elements or innite lms that are not very thin do have an inho-
mogeneous demagnetizing eld. Rotational ellipsoids are the only (physically relevant)
geometric bodies for which the demagnetizing eld is homogeneous and the concept of
global (i.e. not spatially varying) demagnetizing factors is actually meaningful.
28 Chapter 2. Theoretical Background
2.29 becomes [Skr61]:
sin sin + cos cos

= [[
0
(H
z
sin sin H
y
cos ),
cos sin + sin cos

= [[
0
(H
x
sin sin H
z
cos sin ),

= [[
0
(H
y
cos H
x
sin).
(2.44)
The third equation is the equation of motion for the polar angle . Inserting
it in the rst equation of (2.44) yields
sin = [[
0
(H
x
cos cos +H
y
sin cos H
z
sin ), (2.45)

= [[
0
(H
x
sin +H
y
cos ). (2.46)
In the parentheses on the right hand side one recognizes the projections
of H along the unit vector e

= (cos cos , sin cos , sin ) in the rst


and along e

= (sin , cos , 0) in the second equation. With this the


equations simplify considerably to

= [[
0
H

,
sin = [[
0
H

. (2.47)
The sample magnetization is at equilibrium when the free energy is at a
minimum, i.e. F/ [

0
= F/ [

0
= 0. The equilibrium condition also
means that the magnetization M is parallel to the internal eld
H
int
=
1

0
F
M

1

0
_
F
M
e
M
+
1
M sin
F

+
1
M
F

_
(2.48)
which has only a component in the direction of M at equilibrium. Now let
(t) =
0
+(t) and (t) =
0
+(t) (2.49)
be small deviations from the equilibrium positions. Then one can expand
the free energy around the equilibrium:
F

(
0
+) = F

0
+F

0
+O(
2
,
2
),
F

(
0
+) = F

0
+F

0
+O(
2
,
2
). (2.50)
The following abbreviations are introduced: F/u F
u
and
2
F/vu
F
uv
with (u, v) , . If derivatives are evaluated at equilibrium positions
we will write
2
F/vu [
u
0
,v
0
F
u
0
v
0
. Together with the components of
2.4. Smit-Beljers Formulation 29
H
int
in (2.48) and the equation of motion in spherical coordinates (2.47)
one obtains F

= M sin
0
/ [[ and F

= M sin
0
/ [[

, which leads
to the set of dierential equations

M sin
0
[[


= (F

0
+F

0
)
M sin
0
[[
= (F

0
+F

0
). (2.51)
With the harmonic dependencies (t), (t) exp(it) the system be-
comes
0 =
_
F

0
+i
M sin
0
[[
_
+F

0 = F

0
+
_
F

0
i
M sin
0
[[
_
(2.52)
and has periodic solutions if the determinant vanishes, which yields an ex-
pression for the resonance frequency:

2
r
=
[[
2
M
2
sin
2

0
_
F

0
F

0
F
2

0
_
. (2.53)
With a suitable free energy the calculation of resonance frequencies can be
performed. It allows for the inclusion of any anisotropies or other contribu-
tions to the magnetic free energy. The case we will need for the description
of the magnetization dynamics of rings is a uniaxial anisotropy. In this case
the free energy density in polar coordinates is given by
F =
0
MH
ext
[cos(
H
) sin sin
H
+ cos cos
H
]
K
A
cos
2
sin
2
+

0
M
2
2
cos
2
. (2.54)
The uniaxial easy-axis (energetically favored axis) is along the x direction.
The angles are dened in Fig. 2.4.
H
and
H
are the azimuth and polar
angles of the applied eld. K
A
is the anisotropy constant. The rst term
is the Zeeman energy, the second the anisotropy energy and the last term
the out-of plane shape anisotropy. Taking the derivatives with respect to
and one can determine the equilibrium angles
0
and
0
. With the second
derivatives evaluated at these angles one obtains
30 Chapter 2. Theoretical Background
_

r

0
_
2
=
_
H
ext
cos(
0

H
) +H
A
cos
2

0
+M
_

(H
ext
cos(
0

H
) +H
A
cos(2
0
)) . (2.55)
H
A
= 2K
A
/
0
M is the eective uniaxial anisotropy eld.
2.5 Dipole-Exchange Spin Wave Spectrum
This thesis main concern are patterned magnets with lateral dimensions on
the micro- and nanometer scale. At these length scales the shape determines
much of the magnetic properties of a sample. In the static regime it gov-
erns the magnetization congurations. In the dynamical regime it governs
the mode spectrum because in general the patterned samples will have an
internal eld that is inhomogeneous and because there exist dynamic de-
magnetizing elds due to the precessional motion of the magnetic moments.
Kalinikos and Slavin have developed a formalism based on the tensorial
Greens function with which the eigenfrequencies of spin waves in thin lms
and also patterned magnetic elements may be calculated [Kal86, Bay03a].
Only materials without anisotropies and with small damping such as permal-
loy are considered in the following.
The dynamics of the magnetization is governed by the Landau-Lifshitz
equation. The damping is neglected:
dM
dt
= [[
0
(MH
int
) . (2.56)
The internal eld inside a ferromagnet in the present case is given by:
H
int
= H
ext
+
2A

0
M
2
S

2
M+
_
V

G(r, r)M(r

)dr

, (2.57)
where the second term is the exchange eld according to Eq. 2.9 and the
third term is the total demagnetizing eld according to Eq. 2.17.
A coordinate system is chosen such that the static magnetization and
the applied eld lie along the x direction. The spin waves are allowed to
propagate in any direction in the plane of the ferromagnetic lm. Therefore
a second coordinate system rotated in plane by the angle is introduced (see
Fig. 2.5). The dynamic parts m and h due to the spin waves are assumed
to be small and to be in the plane perpendicular to M, i.e. in the (y, z)-
plane. The dynamic magnetization can be a function of the coordinate ,
i.e. m() = m
y
() e
y
+m
z
() e
z
. Then we have:
2.5. Dipole-Exchange Spin Wave Spectrum 31
M = M
S
e
x
+m() exp[i(k

t)], (2.58)
H = H
int
e
x
+h() exp[i(k

t)].
With this ansatz the expression for the demagnetizing eld of the dy-
namic magnetization h() can be simplied. If we insert the above equation
together with (2.57) in the Landau-Lifshitz equation and retain only terms
linear in m and h we obtain the following set of coupled equations:
i

M
m
y
() =
_

M
D

2

2
+Dk
2

_
m
z
()
t
2
_

t
2

G
y,z
(

, k

)m
z
(

)d

,
i

M
m
z
() =
_

M
D

2

2
+Dk
2

_
m
y
()
t
2
_

t
2

G
y,z
(

, k

)m
y
(

)d

.
(2.59)
The following abbreviations are used:

H
=[[
0
H
int
,
M
=[[
0
M, D =
2A

0
M
2
S
. (2.60)
The Greens tensor assumes dierent forms depending on the sample geo-
metry. Eq. 2.59 has the form of an eigenvalue problem. It contains a second
order dierential operator (expression in square brackets) and an integral
operator. Depending again on the sample geometry, solutions can be con-
structed by treating either the dierential exchange operator or the integral
operator as perturbation. This is shown in the following for innite thin
lms.
2.5.1 Spin Wave Dispersion of an Innite Thin Film
For an innite thin lm magnetized in-plane along the x direction the eigen-
functions m() and eigenvalues will be mainly determined by the exchange
eld. The matrix

G
y,z
(

, k

) in this case has the form [Kal86]:


32 Chapter 2. Theoretical Background
x
y
z,
M, H
j
x
h
z
k
x
FIG. 2.5: Denition of coordinate system and angles for the calculation of the resonance
frequency in the dipole-exchange spin wave formalism.

G
y,z
(

, k

) =
_
G
P
sin()
2
iG
Q
sin()
iG
Q
sin() G
P
(

)
_
, (2.61)
with
G
P
(

, k

) =
k

2
exp(k

[), G
Q
= G
P
sign(

). (2.62)
Since the eigenfunctions of a second order dierential operator are sought
one needs boundary conditions for a unique solution. For thin lms the
Rado-Weertmann [Rad59] boundary conditions are used:
m
y


K
s
A
m
y

=t/2
= 0
m
z

=t/2
= 0. (2.63)
K
S
is the surface anisotropy constant and A the exchange constant. For
permalloy thin lms usually unpinned boundary conditions, K
S
= 0, are
used, i.e. the spin waves have a wave crest at the surfaces.
The unperturbed eigenfunctions of the exchange operator can be eas-
ily found. Taking into account the boundary conditions (2.63) the result
are standing spin waves with a discrete wave vector along the out-of-plane
direction :

n
() = A

n
cos
_

n
_
+
t
2
__
. (2.64)
2.5. Dipole-Exchange Spin Wave Spectrum 33

n
=
n
t
with n = 0, 1, . . . is the quantized wave vector in the direction.
stands for y, z. The corresponding eigenvalues of the exchange operator
are equal for the y and z component and read
N
n
=

H

M
+D k
2
n
, (2.65)
where
k
n
=
_
k
2

+
2
n
(2.66)
is the total wave vector.
The orthogonal and normalized eigenfunctions are used as a base in
which the dynamic magnetization is expanded. This includes some lengthy
algebra and can be found in [Bay03a]. The result is that the initial system
of equations 2.59 can be written in the form [Kal86]

H
nn
m
n
+

=n

W
nn
m
n
= 0, (2.67)
where the matrix

H
nn
contains only diagonal elements,

W
nn
contains only
o-diagonal elements, and m
n
is the projection of m() on the n
th
base vec-
tor. The interpretation of this innite system of equations is that the rst
matrix describes non-interacting standing spin waves (unperturbed opera-
tor) and the second matrix describes the interaction among these standing
spin waves (perturbation matrix). If the interaction is negligible, which is
the case for k

t 1 and if the frequencies of the modes are well separated,


the system has solutions if the determinant of

H
nn
vanishes (zero order ap-
proximation). This leads to the dispersion relation (in the SI system of
units):
f(, k
n
) =
_

0
2
_
_
H +
2A

0
M
S
k
2
n
__
H +
2A

0
M
S
k
2
n
+M
S
F
nn
_1
2
,
(2.68)
F
nn
is the matrix element of the dipole-dipole interaction. It is given by
F
nn
= 1 P
nn
cos
2
+M
S
P
nn
(1 P
nn
) sin
2

H +
2A

0
M
S
k
2
n
and (2.69)
P
nn
=
k
2

k
2
n

k
3

k
4
n

1
1 +
n0

2
t
[1 (1)
n
exp(k

t)] . (2.70)
34 Chapter 2. Theoretical Background
0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
20
22
24
26
28
PSSW = 0


f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f

(
G
H
z
)
wave vector k

(10
7
/ m)
magnetostatic backward volume mode
= 0
Damon-Eshbach mode
= 90
PSSW = 90
FIG. 2.6: Calculated dispersion of an innite lm after Eq. 2.68 for dierent orientations
of the in plane wave vector k

. is the angle between k

and the magnetization. PSSW


stands for perpendicular standing spin wave. They are used as base functions in the
derivation of the dispersion relation. In our measurement geometry these modes are
usually not excited. Parameters used for the calculation are
0
M = 1.3 T, thickness
t = 26 nm, = 176 GHz/T. The dispersion is calculated for an external eld of 100 mT.
Calculated spin wave dispersions for the parallel and perpendicular ori-
entation of the wave vector with respect to the static magnetization are
shown in Fig. 2.6 for the lowest two modes (n = 0, 1). The parameters for
the calculation are given in the gure caption. The modes labelled perpen-
dicular standing spin waves show a high frequency. They have a high total
wave vector due to the component along the out-of-plane direction = /t.
Since this component is much higher than the in-plane wave vector these
modes have only a very weak in-plane wave vector dispersion. Usually they
are not excited by the in-plane excitations of coplanar waveguides and their
frequency is higher than our accessible frequency range unless the lms are
thicker than a critical thickness (t
c
30 nm). The magnetostatic backward
volume wave has initially a negative slope, or in other words a negative
group velocity v
g
= /k. This will be important for the discussion of
the mode localization in the side arms of ferromagnetic rings. The Damon-
Eshbach modes are surface modes [Dam61]. That means their amplitude is
at maximum at the surfaces and decays exponentially into the lm [Hil99].
2.6. Micromagnetic Simulations 35
2.6 Micromagnetic Simulations
We have used the public domain software package OOMMF [Don99] for the
micromagnetic simulations of static and dynamic magnetization properties
of patterned ferromagnets. For the simulations the element is meshed into
a grid and for each cell of the grid the macrospin model is applied, i.e. each
cell possesses a uniform magnetic moment. The cells have to be chosen
small enough in order not to average over the spatial variation of the mag-
netization and eld distribution. Typically the cell sizes should be on the
order of the exchange length l
ex
= (A/
0
M
2
s
)
1/2
4 nm for permalloy. The
equilibrium state of such a system is found by numerically integrating the
Landau-Lifshitz equation in the following form
dM
i
dt
= [
LL
[
0
_
M
i
H
i
int

[
LL
[
M
S
_
M
i

_
M
i
H
i
int
_
. (2.71)
Here, M
i
and H
i
int
are the magnetization and the internal eld of each cell,
respectively. The internal eld is calculated from
H
int
=
1

0
E
M
, (2.72)
where E is the total energy density of the system containing demagnetizing
energy, exchange energy, anisotropy energy and Zeeman energy.
For static simulations an Euler solver is used to solve the ordinary dier-
ential LL equation. The damping coecient is chosen very high ( = 0.5)
to accelerate the relaxation into the equilibrium state. As a criterion for the
equilibrium states the torque [ M H
int
/M
2
s
[ must fall below a threshold
value, typically 10
6
.
For dynamic simulations, a fourth order Runge-Kutta solver is imple-
mented in OOMMF. It is faster for the integration of the LL equation with
realistic damping. It can be compiled to be the main OOMMF solver
3
. A
magnetic eld pulse with 2 ps rise and fall time is applied perpendicular to
the applied static eld to excite the free precession of the sample. Such a
pulse has a nearly constant power distribution in the frequency spectrum
up to 20 GHz. Here, the averaged time evolution of the whole specimen as
well as that of each cell m
i
(t) is recorded. J. Podbielski of our group has
implemented a programm that can perform a cellwise Fourier transform.
One can encode the amplitude and phase value of each cell at a certain
3
M. Bolte has provided us with a compiled version.
36 Chapter 2. Theoretical Background
frequency and plot this as a false color plot. Thus we can construct images
of the eigenmodes of the sample. This is called Fourier transform imaging
[Bue04].
Static and dynamic simulations take quite a long computation time,
on the order of four weeks for a dynamic spectrum and eight weeks for a
static hysteresis curve. For reasons of time, simulations cannot always be
performed with parameters identical to those determined experimentally.
Chapter 3
Experimental Methods
In this section the broadband spectrometer for the magnetization dyna-
mics measurements, which was designed and constructed from scratch in
the course of this thesis, is described. We focus on its most relevant parts,
the micron sized coplanar waveguide and the network analyzer for frequency
domain measurements as well as the fast sampling oscilloscope for time
domain measurements. We employ sample lm growth and lithography
techniques optimized for the requirements of our experiments.
1
They will
be briey outlined. Magnetic and atomic force microscopy (MFM/AFM)
are used for the characterization of the static magnetization and geometrical
parameters of our samples.
3.1 Broadband Spectrometer
For the excitation and detection of magnetization dynamics of lms and
microstructures a broadband GHz spectrometer was used which has been
constructed in the course of this thesis. A block diagram of the apparatus is
shown in Fig. 3.1. The setup uses inductive detection: The magnetic exci-
tation is delivered to the sample by a micron sized coplanar waveguide. The
most important feature of the waveguide is that it has a low damping in the
whole measurement frequency range. The dynamic response of the sample is
picked up inductively by the same waveguide and transported to the detec-
tor. Plain lms are put lm-side down onto the coplanar waveguide (ip-chip
technique) as shown in Fig. 3.6. Microstructures are integrated directly on
1
All lithography is performed in the cleanroom available at the Microstructure Research
Center Hamburg.
37
38 Chapter 3. Experimental Methods
PS 1
Com-
puter
Vector Network
Analyzer
C
Waveguide
Electromagnets


Sample
S
11
S
12
PS 2
PS = Power Supply
^ ^
a) Frequency domain
b)
PS 1
Com-
puter
TDR Sampling
Oscilloscope
C
Waveguide
Electromagnets Sample
PS 2
Time domain
FIG. 3.1: (a) Block diagram of the broadband VNA-FMR spectrometer. The vector
network analyzer measures the complex (i.e. magnitude and phase) scattering parameters
(transmission:

S
12
and reection

S
11
) of a sample on a coplanar waveguide, which is
mounted in the middle of two independent electromagnets. The setup is controlled by
a personal computer with a program developed in this thesis. (a) Block diagram of the
TDR-PIMM. The components are identical to the VNA-FMR setup except for the TDR
oscilloscope.
3.1. Broadband Spectrometer 39
the central conductor of the coplanar waveguide by e-beam lithography and
lift-o processing (e.g. Fig. 3.11).
The spectrometer can work in the frequency and in the time domain.
In the frequency domain it covers the range from 45 MHz - 20 GHz. In
the time domain it can be operated with a time resolution of 2 ps. In the
frequency domain the magnetic excitation is a sinusoidal magnetic eld h
hf
and the response of the sample is detected by a vector network analyzer
[Fig. 3.1 (a)]. In the time domain the excitation is a transient magnetic
eld pulse with a fast rise time h
pulse
(nominally 30 ps) and the detection
is performed with a sampling oscilloscope [Fig. 3.1 (b)]. Magnetic elds
can be applied in the plane of the sample by two orthogonal independent
electromagnets, each with a maximum eld of 100 mT. To extract the small
inductive signal a dierence detection scheme is used [Sil99]. A reference
signal is detected with the sample saturated in the direction of the excitation.
In this case M and h
hf
or h
pulse
are parallel and no torque can act on
the magnetization and excite a dynamic motion. This reference signal is
subtracted from subsequent signals acquired with the external magnetic eld
applied in a direction chosen for the particular experiment. Additionally,
the two pairs of magnets allow to rotate the applied magnetic eld in the
sample plane.
The spectrometer is constructed for room temperature measurements.
In order to contact the waveguide, commercial microwave probes are used
that optimize the transition between coaxial cables and the coplanar waveg-
uide. Since the waveguide is on the 100 m scale, micropositioners and
a microscope are needed. Details of the positioning system are shown in
Fig. 3.2. To ensure the mechanical stability, the apparatus is mounted on a
heavy marble table to minimize mechanical vibrations. In the following, we
will explain the measurement principle for the frequency and time resolved
detection.
3.1.1 Frequency Domain and Network Analyzer Ferromag-
netic Resonance (VNA-FMR)
For experiments in the frequency domain, a vector network analyzer (VNA)
is employed as a swept microwave source and as a detector. The principle of
operation of a network analyzer is outlined in Appendix B. The emitted mi-
crowave is of the form V
0
(r, ) = V
0
sin(krt), where the amplitude is to a
good approximation in the accessible frequency range up to 20 GHz perpen-
dicular to the propagation direction: V
0
k, V
0
= V
0
e
y
, and k = 2/ e
x
.
That means the waves are transverse electromagnetic waves (TEM).
40 Chapter 3. Experimental Methods
Micropositioner
Microscope
GHz- Waferprobes
Sample mount
S
12
S
21
S
22
S
11
Network
^
^
^
^
(a)
(b)
FIG. 3.2: Picture of the VNA-FMR spectrometer showing the positioning system: two
three-axis micropositioners, optical microscope and GHz wafer probes. The probe sta-
tion is mounted on a heavy table to minimize mechanical vibrations. (b) Diagram of
S-parameters of a network.
In the language of electrical engineering, the network analyzer measures
the scattering parameters (S-parameters) of the sample and the waveguide.
The S-parameters are dened as

S
11
() =

V
re
()
V
0
()
,

S
12
() =

V
trans
()
V
0
()
. (3.1)
where V
0
(),

V
re
(), and

V
trans
() are the incident, reected, and transmit-
ted voltages, respectively. A diagram of the S-parameters is shown in Fig.
3.1. Broadband Spectrometer 41
0 1 2 3 4 5
-0.03
-0.02
-0.01
0.00
0.01
0.02
(b)

S
2
1

(
a
r
b
.

u
n
i
t
s
)
frequency f (GHz)
real part
imaginary part

0
H = 16.5 mT (a)
f
res
-75 -50 -25 0 25 50 75
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
20

0
H (mT)
f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f

(
G
H
z
)
FIG. 3.3: (a) Measured real and imaginary part of a 26 nm thick permalloy lm. (b) The
magnetic eld dispersion of the resonance frequency of the same lm as a grey scale plot.
(black = strong absorption)
3.2 (b). The concept of S-parameters is used to describe electrical networks
2
(hence the name network analyzer) which are too dicult to be described
by equivalent electrical circuits. A network is considered to be a black box
that has N ports, in our case two ports, labelled 1 and 2. Their reection
(

S
11
,

S
22
) and transmission (

S
12
,

S
21
) coecients are measured as a function
of frequency to describe their behavior. The S-parameters are complex to
take into account that also the phase may in general be inuenced by the
network.
In the language of a physicist the measurement principle works as fol-
lows: When the microwave passes the sample, its magnetic eld h
hf
drives
the magnetic moments of the sample to perform a precessional motion, if
h
hf
exerts a torque on the magnetic moments (driven precession). From
Faradays law it is well known that a time varying ux induces a volt-
age in a current loop. Therefore the time varying magnetic moments of a
sample induce a voltage in the coplanar waveguide which is superposed on
the excitation wave V
0
(r, ). This wave propagates further and its relative
amplitude V
exp
()/V
0
() and its relative phase
0
()
3
are detected by the
2
The term network is used in a very general way and refers to any device under test,
for example lters, ampliers, impedances, transmission lines and so on.
3
The phase of the excitation wave V
0
is used as zero reference.
42 Chapter 3. Experimental Methods
second port of the VNA for each frequency. When the sample is at reso-
nance, the precessional amplitude is large and at the same time the induced
voltage is 180

out of phase with the excitation voltage. This will lead to


an absorption peak in the detected signal. Note the strong analogy with
optical transmission experiments.
A magnetization dynamics measurement of a 26 nm permalloy lm
(permalloy on Au/Ag/Cr/GaAs) is shown in Fig. 3.3 (a). One recognizes
the Lorentzian-like absorption and the real part with a zero crossing at the
resonance frequency. These curve shapes are predicted by the calculations
shown in Fig. 2.3. In panel (b) the magnetic eld dispersion of the resonance
frequencies of this lm is shown as a grey scale plot. The eld is swept from
91 mT to 91 mT. A square root like dependence is found in agreement
with the Kittel formula (2.43).
3.1.2 Time Domain and Pulsed Inductive Microwave Mag-
netometer (PIMM)
In time domain measurements the magnetic moments of a sample are excited
to perform a free precession. This is achieved by a magnetic eld step pulse
with a very fast rise time . In our experiments the lowest rise time is
30 ps, typical rise times are 60 ps. As in the frequency domain, if
the magnetic moments of the sample precess they induce a voltage in the
waveguide. This voltage is superimposed on the voltage step pulse that
creates the transient magnetic eld pulse and can be detected by a sampling
oscilloscope. The measurement principle of a sampling oscilloscope can be
found in Appendix B. A pulsed inductive microwave magnetometer (PIMM)
magnetometer for time domain magnetization dynamics measurements was
rst designed by T. J. Silva et al. [Sil99] at NIST inspired by older work of
Dietrich et al. [Die60]. A block diagram of the setup is shown in Fig. 3.1
(b).
The setup of this thesis uses a time domain reectometry (TDR) os-
cilloscope in order to minimize the trigger jitter. In Silvas apparatus an
external pulse generator was used. Variations in the trigger synchroniza-
tion between pulse generator and oscilloscope decrease the time resolution
(jitter). A TDR oscilloscope has a built-in pulse generator that uses the
same time base clock as the sampling detector thus minimizing the elec-
tronic trigger jitter. The transient magnetic eld pulse is produced by a
voltage pulse. The risetime
rise
is dened as the time between the pulse
reaching 10% and 90% of its maximum voltage (or current or magnetic eld)
value:
rise
= t(0.9V
0
)t(0.1V
0
). The TDR pulse generator has a maximum
3.1. Broadband Spectrometer 43
0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0
0.00
0.05
0.10
0.15
0.20
0.25
= 130 ps


v
o
l
t
a
g
e

(
V
)
time (ns)
10 %
90 %

FIG. 3.4: A step pulse detected by the the oscilloscope after travelling through 2 m long
coaxial cables and the coplanar waveguide. The rise time at the detector is 130 ps. Since
the rise time scales approximately linear with the transmission line length we can estimate
the rise time at the sample to be 65 ps. The dispersion is mainly due to ohmic losses of
the waveguide. Waveguides made of 17 m thick copper clad boards show rise times of
35 ps at the detector.
voltage of 300 mV. External pulse generators can produce pulses of up to
50 V. A transmitted pulse of our setup is shown in Fig. 3.4 (b). Due to the
transmission line (2 m long) its amplitude is decreased to 200 mV and the
rise time is = 130 ps at the detector. Since the rise time scales approx-
imately linear with the transmission line length we estimate the rise time
at the sample to be 65 ps. The dispersion is mainly due to ohmic losses of
the waveguide. Waveguides made of 17 m thick copper clad boards show
detector rise times of 35 ps.
A pulse-signal in the time domain can be decomposed into a sum of sine
waves with dierent frequencies which have a xed amplitude and phase
relation among each other (Fourier transformation). In order to produce
short rise times, sine waves have to be summed up to very high frequencies.
In order for a pulse to keep its initial shape and particularly its short rise time
when propagating along a transmission line, the change in initial amplitude
and phase relation caused by the transmission line must be small. This is
accomplished by using the same coplanar waveguides as in the frequency
domain experiments. When designed accordingly, they exhibit low damping
as a function of frequency and also little dispersion (change in phase of waves
with dierent frequency). Note that the requirements on the transmission
line for the propagation of time signals with fast changing features is more
44 Chapter 3. Experimental Methods
-60 -30 0 30 60
0
1
2
3
4
5

0
H (mT)
t
i
m
e

t

(
n
s
)
(a)
0 1 2 3 4 5
-0.4
-0.2
0.0
0.2
0.4


V
i
n
d

~

d
M
/
d
t

(
m
V
)
time t (ns)
(b)
0 mT
90 mT
0 25 50 75 100
0
3
6
9
12
PIMM
VNA-FMR
(c)


f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f

(
G
H
z
)

0
H (mT)
FIG. 3.5: (a) Sample traces of inductive response of an 80 nm ferromagnetic NiMnSb
lm at 0 mT and at 90 mT (oset for clarity). Decaying oscillations can be observed for
more than 5 ns. (b) Grey scale of a magnetic eld sweep (+90 mT 90 mT). Black:
minimum, white: maximum. (c) shows a comparison of the magnetic eld dispersion
exctracted from Fourier transformed PIMM data and with VNA-FMR. The agreement is
very good.
stringent than for the propagation of a monochromatic wave, because in the
latter case no phase relationship has to be maintained.
The necessary risetime is dictated by the inherent frequencies of the sam-
ple f = f(H
int
, k, M
S
), which depend on the total internal eld H
int
, the
wave vector of the excitation in the sample k, and its saturation magnetiza-
tion M
S
. The maximum spectral component of the pulse must be as high
as the highest inherent frequency in order to excite a free precession. As a
mechanical analogy, think of a swing with a child on it. When the swing
is pushed quickly enough, it will swing back and forth at its inherent fre-
quency. When on the contrary the push is slow compared to the free motion
of the swing, the swing will follow the motion of the push, i.e. it will move
at the pushs speed but will not swing at its intrinsic speed. The inherent
frequencies of our samples are on the order of 20 GHz, therefore the rise
time has to be on the order of 1/20 GHz = 50 ps.
As an example a measurement of an 80 nm thick NiMnSb lm
4
is shown
in Fig. 3.5 (a) at 0 and at 90 mT. One can clearly observe periodic oscillations
with a characteristic damping. The oscillation period is shorter and the
signal amplitude is smaller at 90 mT. In (b) the overview of a magnetic eld
sweep from +90 mT to 90 mT is shown. The signal amplitude is shown
4
We received NiMnSb lms from the group of Prof. Dr. Molenkamp in W urzburg as
part of the BMBF project Spintronics, BMBF 13N8283. Details of the growth can be
found in [Bac03].
3.2. Calculation of the Inductive Voltage Signal 45
as a grey scale (black: minimum, white: maximum). It is on the order of
10
6
V for microstructure arrays to 10
4
V for unpatterned lms.
3.2 Calculation of the Inductive Voltage Signal
An expression for the inductive voltage signal can be derived from Faradays
law and reciprocity [Sil99]. Consider two current loops, L
1
and L
2
, enclosing
the areas A
1
and A
2
. If only loop L
1
is driven by a current I
1
the ux induced
in loop L
2
is given by

2
=
_
A
2
B
1
dA

, (3.2)
where B
1
=
0
H
1
(I
1
, r) is the magnetic induction produced by I
1
. The
induced ux can alternatively be expressed by the geometry dependent in-
duction coecient L
21
:

2
= L
21
I
1
. (3.3)
It is shown in electrodynamics that the induction coecient L
12
which
links the ux induced in loop L
1
by a current in loop L
2
is equal to L
21
which
links the ux induced in loop L
2
with a current in loop L
1
[Jac99]. This is
called principle of reciprocity. We cannot calculate the induction coecient
of the CPW directly but the reciprocity principle allows us to calculate it
indirectly: Assume a current loop L with the area dA is brought close to
the CPW. The ux in the current loop due to a current I
cpw
in the CPW
can be determined because we can calculate the eld H(I
cpw
) produced by
this current with Biot-Savarts law. The ux in the loop is given by:
d
L
=
0
H(I
cpw
) dA = L
L,cpw
I
cpw
. (3.4)
By reciprocity the ux induced in the waveguide due to a current in the
loop L is
d
cpw
= L
cpw,L
I
L
= L
L,cpw
I
L
=

0
I
cpw
H(I
cpw
) I
L
dA
=
0
h(I
cpw
) dm
L
. (3.5)
In this equation h = H/I
cpw
is the eld per unit current of the CPW and
dm
L
= I
L
dA is the magnetic moment of loop L. If we now replace the
current loop by a ferromagnetic sample with a magnetic moment dm = MdV
46 Chapter 3. Experimental Methods
the physical situation has not changed and Eq. 3.5 must maintain its validity.
Therefore the ux in the CPW due to a magnetic sample is given by

cpw
=
0
_
V
S
h M dV (3.6)
where the integration extends over the sample volume.
By Faradays law the voltage induced in the CPW is simply the time
derivative of the ux. A time varying magnetization will induce a voltage
that travels along the +x and the x direction. Therefore the voltage
measured by the detector is halved:
V
ind
(t) =
d
cpw
dt
=

0
2
_
V
S
h
dM
dt
dV. (3.7)
A coplanar waveguide supports TEM waves, therefore the magnetic eld
per unit current is directed transverse to the propagation direction. Let the
waveguide lie along e
x
then the magnetic eld of the waveguide will lie
mainly along e
y
(see Fig. 3.6 for the coordinate system). It can be veried
by numeric calculation that the magnetic eld prole across the waveguide
is nearly a step function if the center conductor thickness t is much smaller
than the center conductor width w [see Fig. 3.8 (a) and (c)]
H = H
y
e
y
=
I
2w
f(z, w)[(y +w/2) (y w/2)]. (3.8)
Here, (y) is the Heaviside step function and f(z, w) a spacing loss function
that accounts for the drop-o of the eld in the out-of-plane direction. An
analytic expression for the magnetic eld of a CPW can be found from the
Karlquist equation and is consistent with the above equation if the center
conductor thickness is much smaller than its width t w [Sil99]. Assume
further that the sample is homogeneously magnetized along its thickness t
s
and along the x direction. With these assumptions and using the eld prole
(3.8), Eq. 3.7 can be further simplied and gives the important result:
V
ind
(t) =

0
t
s
L
4w
f(z, w)
w
2
_

w
2
dM
y
dt
dy
=

0
t
s
L
4w
f(z, w)
dM
y
dt
. (3.9)
In this equation t
s
and L are the sample thickness and length along the
waveguide, respectively. This result states that the induced voltage in the
3.2. Calculation of the Inductive Voltage Signal 47
waveguide is proportional to the spatial average of the time derivative of the
transverse magnetization component.
In order to describe the measurement signal in the frequency domain for
the VNA-FMR measurements a Fourier transformation of both sides of Eq.
3.9 may be performed. We obtain:

V
ind
(

) =
1

2
_
V
ind
(t) e
i

t
dt
=

0
t
s
L
4

2
_
dM
trans
dt
e
i

t
dt
=

0
t
s
L
4

2
_
d
dt
(H(t)) e
i

t
dt. (3.10)
In the following it is always assumed that the susceptibility does not have
an explicit time dependence.
3.2.1 Step Response
The TDR pulse of the oscilloscope is a step pulse. Therefore this case applies
directly to the measurement mode used in this thesis. The magnetic eld
has the form
H(t) = lim
0
+
H
ext
+h(t) e
t
, (3.11)
where (t) is the Heaviside step function. The exponential function is in-
cluded as a convergence factor for the integration and vanishes after per-
forming the limit 0
+
. Setting A =

0
t
s
L
4

2
and inserting this into Eq.
3.10, one obtains:

V
ind
(

) = lim
0
+
A
_

d
dt
(

)
_
H
ext
+h(t)e
t

e
i

t
dt. (3.12)
48 Chapter 3. Experimental Methods
The external eld is not time dependent and vanishes upon dierentiation.
Partial integration yields:

V
ind
(

) = Ah(

) lim
0
+
_
(t)e
t
e
i

t
_

. .
=0

(t)e
t
d
dt
e
i

t
dt
= Ai

h(

) lim
0
+
_

0
e
t
e
i

t
dt
= Ai

h(

) lim
0
+
_
e
(+i

)t
( +i

)
_

0
= A(

)h. (3.13)
This result means that the induced voltage after a voltage step pulse exci-
tation is directly proportional to the complex susceptibility of the sample.
3.2.2 Impulse Response
In this case the excitation eld has the form of a delta function:
H(t) = H
ext
+ lim
0
+
h
1

exp
_

t
2

_
= H
ext
+h(t). (3.14)
To calculate

V
ind
(

), one inserts H(t) again in Eq. 3.10 and integrates by


parts:

V
ind
(

) =
Ah(

) lim
0
+
_
1

t
2

e
i

t
_

. .
=0
+
i

t
2

+i

dt.
(3.15)
For the solution of the right integral, one uses
t
2

+i

t =
_
t

+
i

2
_
2
+

2

4
. (3.16)
3.2. Calculation of the Inductive Voltage Signal 49
Substitution of y =
t

+
i

2
leads to the following expression:

V
ind
(

) = Ah(

) lim
0
+
i

4
_

e
y
2
dy
= Ah(

) lim
0
+
i

V
ind
(

) = i

A(

)h. (3.17)
For an impulse response the susceptibility is weighted by the factor i

.
3.2.3 Harmonic Response
This is the excitation mode for the VNA-FMR measurements in the fre-
quency domain. The magnetic eld is given by
H(t) = H
ext
+ lim
0
+
hexp
_
t
2
_
exp (it) . (3.18)
As in the other cases a convergence factor is introduced which vanishes
after taking the limit 0
+
. Insertion in Eq. 3.10 and integrating by
parts yields:

V
ind
(

) = A lim
0
+
_

d
dt
_
h(

) e
(itt
2
)
_
e
(i

t)
dt
= Ah(

) lim
0
+
_
e
t
2
+it
e
i

t
_

. .
=0
+i

e
t
2
+i(

)t
dt.
(3.19)
The solution of the remaining integral is analogous to that for the impulse
response term; the substitution y =

t +
i(

)
2

leads to

V
ind
(

) = A(

)hi

lim
0
+
1

)
2
4
_

e
y
2
dy
= 2i

A(

)h(

).
(3.20)
As in the impulse response calculation we have made use of the fact that
the series of functions lim
0
+(4)

1
2
exp
_
(

)
2
/4
_
converges to a
delta function. This important result states that under a harmonic excita-
tion the response will have the same frequency as the excitation because of
50 Chapter 3. Experimental Methods
h(t)

V
ind
()
step response h(t)

0
t
s
L
4

2
()h
impulse response h(t)

0
t
s
L
4

2
i

()h
harmonic response h exp(it)

0
t
s
L
4

2
2i

)h(

)
TAB. 3.1: Calculated induced voltages for dierent excitation modes.
the delta function and that again the susceptibility is weighted by i. The
induced voltage of a harmonic excitation is 2 larger than that of an impulse
response. The results are summarized in Tab. 3.1.
3.3 Coplanar Waveguide Structures
In the experiments described in this thesis a wave of a certain frequency or a
pulse (superposed waves) must be guided to the location of the sample and
the samples response must be guided to the detector with as little loss of
power as possible. Two further requirements exist for the guiding structure.
It must be miniaturizable and it must be planar.
A coplanar waveguide (CPW) is the structure of choice [Gup96]. It
consists of a signal line (S), anked by two ground planes (G) as shown in Fig.
3.6. A CPW can support quasi-TEM waves, i.e. waves with only a very small
component in the direction of propagation; The reason for the not exactly
vanishing components in the x direction is the inhomogeneous dielectric, in
our case GaAs and air, which introduces dierent group velocities above
and below the electrodes, and ohmic losses of the conducting electrodes.
In the present frequency range up to 20 GHz, however, the longitudinal
components E
x
and H
x
will be small. Furthermore, all electrodes of the
CPW are in the same plane, namely on the surface of a GaAs dielectric
substrate. This makes it possible to contact the waveguide with GHz wafer
probes. A waveguide is characterized by its impedance. This impedance has
to be 50 , which will be discussed in the following.
3.3.1 Characteristic Impedance
The impedance Z is a response function which determines the relation
between the electric and magnetic elds of an electromagnetic wave in a
3.3. Coplanar Waveguide Structures 51
y
z
x
h
rf
sample
substrate
metal
Ground Ground Signal
S G G
h
rf
e
rf
FIG. 3.6: Schematical diagram of a coplanar waveguide along with the coordinate system
and a sample. The lower diagram shows the magnetic (full lines) and electric (dashed lines)
eld lines winding around the central conductor (S). The substrate used in this thesis for
the investigation of microstructures is GaAs with a dielectric constant of
r
= 12.9 or glass
with
r
= 6.2.
medium [Dre02]. For a wave propagating in the x direction in vacuum the
characteristic impedance is dened as [Mey69]
Z
0
=
E
y
H
z
=
_

0
= 377 . (3.21)
In this case the impedance is independent of spatial coordinates and of time
and is a characteristic quantity of the wave. Impedances are also used to
characterize transmission lines [Ell93]. For transmission lines supporting
TEM waves the denition can be extended. Let the guiding structure be
rectilinear pointing in the x direction and let every transverse cross section
be equal, like in the CPWs used here. The electric and magnetic elds have
only transverse components E
t
and H
t
. With Maxwells equations it can be
shown that
_
C
E
t
dl = 0
_
C
H
t
dl =
_
S
C
J
x
dS. (3.22)
The rst equation shows that the line integral over E
t
between any two points
P
1
and P
2
in the transverse plane of the guiding structure is independent
52 Chapter 3. Experimental Methods
of the chosen path. The second equation states that the integral over the
contour C equals the enclosed longitudinal current independent of the form
of the contour. This allows one to dene a characteristic impedance as
Z
0
=
_
P2
P1
E
t
dl
_
C
H
t
dl
=
V
0
I
0
. (3.23)
For transverse electric or transverse magnetic waves the impedance depends
on the choice of integration path or contour and thus not a characteristic
quantity describing the transmission line. The denition can be extended
to cover such cases but this is beyond the scope of this chapter. Eq. 3.23
shows that the impedance of a transmission line depends on its geometry
due to the electric and magnetic eld distribution.
3.3.2 Transmission of Electromagnetic Waves -
The Need for Impedance Matching
Having established the concept of wave impedance, the scattering of elec-
tromagnetic waves propagating along guiding structures o load impedances
will be discussed, whereby the necessity becomes clear to design impedance
matched planar waveguides for the broadband spectrometer.
It is easier to use the mode voltage V
0
(x, t) and mode current I
0
(x, t) for
the description instead of the electric and magnetic elds. This description
is indeed meaningful for TEM waves [Ell93].
5
One therefore may write
V
0
(x, t) = Aexp(it x) +Bexp(it +x),
I
0
(x, t) = A/Z
0
exp(it x) B/Z
0
exp(it x). (3.24)
Consider the case where this voltage propagates along a transmission line
that is loaded with the impedance Z
L
at x = 0. It follows immediately from
Eq. 3.24, that
Z
L
= Z
0
A+B
AB
, (3.25)
or solved for A/B:
= A/B =
Z
0
Z
L
Z
0
+Z
L
. (3.26)
5
There is not always a unique correspondence between electric eld and voltage in
non TEM waves, nor is there necessarily a unique correspondence between current and
magnetic eld.
3.3. Coplanar Waveguide Structures 53
is called the reection coecient. It becomes clear that only if the load
impedance is matched to the characteristic impedance of a transmission line,
no backscattering occurs. Every change in impedance along a transmission
line scatters electromagnetic waves. It is an industry standard that chooses
the characteristic impedance to be 50 . This is in particular valid for the
VNA and the TDR oscilloscope. Therefore also the coplanar waveguide
must be designed to meet the characteristic impedance of 50 .
3.3.3 Coplanar Waveguide Design
A brief description of how the characteristic impedance of a coplanar wave-
guide can be calculated is given. It will be shown that it depends only on
the ratio of the width of the signal conductor w to the width of the slots
s, which means that one is allowed to change the cross section dimensions
while keeping Z
0
constant. The actual calculations are performed with the
freely available impedance calculator Txline which produces more realis-
tic values due to the inclusion of nite substrate and electrode thickness.
The magnetic eld distribution along a waveguide cross section, calculated
with Biot-Savarts law will be presented. The maximum achievable high fre-
quency eld is given by h
rf
= I/2w, where I is the current owing through
the central conductor. The 1/w dependence illustrates the need to fabricate
the waveguides in the micrometer range.
The geometric shape enters the equation for the characteristic impedance
principally in Eq. 3.23 through the boundary conditions, which make the
calculation sometimes cumbersome. A way to calculate the impedance of a
coplanar waveguide for innite dielectric thickness and innitely thin elec-
trodes is to map half of the waveguide to a parallel plate conguration lled
with a dielectric. The integral transformation (Schwartz-Christoel
6
):
y =
_
z
z
0
dz

(z

a)(z

b)
(3.27)
with (y, z) C, a = w/2, and b = w/2 + s, maps the dielectric lled half-
space to a rectangle with the electrodes on the top and bottom (parallel
plates). For the calculation the coordinate system is placed as in Fig. 3.7.
The capacitance per unit length of the parallel plates is
C
diel
=
0

r
W/d =
0

r
K (a/b)
K

(a/b)
. (3.28)
6
In general, the Schwartz-Christoel transformation maps the upper half-space z 0
to an n-gone. The form used here is a particular form.
54 Chapter 3. Experimental Methods
Im ( ) z
Re ( ) z
2 = 2 w/
3 2+ =w/ s
Im ( ) y
Re ( ) y
1 4

1 2
4 3
2 3
FIG. 3.7: Conformal transformation planes for impedance analysis of coplanar waveg-
uides. The half of the central conductor is marked in light grey the ground plane in dark
grey. After [Gup96].
W is the width of the parallel plates and d their distance. The functions
K(k) and K

(k) = K
_

1 k
2
_
are the complete elliptic integrals of the
rst kind, and its complement, respectively. Similarly the air-lled half
space can be transformed and yields a capacitance of C
air
= C
diel
/
r
. The
total capacitance is C
tot
= C
diel
+ C
air
. From this, the eective dielectric
constant follows, since
r,e
:= C
tot
/

C
air
= (
r
+ 1)/2, where

C
air
= 2C
air
is the capacitance the guiding structure would have if all dielectrics were
replaced by air. Finally, the impedance follows, as
Z
0
=
1
c

r,e

C
air
=
29.97

r,e
K

(a/b)
K(a/b)
. (3.29)
Since the impedance is a function of only the ratio a/b = w/(w + 2s) one
may change the cross section geometry in such a way that this ratio remains
constant without changing the characteristic impedance of the CPW. In
principle, similar functional dependencies of the impedance on the ratio of
geometric parameters are also found for other waveguide types. But when
the electrodes are not all on the same side of the substrate the fabrication of
impedance matched geometry changes becomes prohibitively dicult. Since
all electrodes of a CPW are on the same side of the substrate it is well
possible to taper or widen the electrodes with unchanged impedance. This
is used in particular in this thesis to taper the waveguide from the 250 m
pitch required by the GHz wafer probes to w = 15 m for a large high
frequency magnetic excitation eld and a high sensitivity of the waveguides.
3.3. Coplanar Waveguide Structures 55
0.00
0.05
0.10
0.15
0.20
-75 -50 -25 0 25 50 75
0.00
0.05
0.10
0.15
0.20
-0.2
-0.1
0.0
0.1
0.2
-75 -50 -25 0 25 50 75
-0.2
-0.1
0.0
0.1
0.2

t
r
a
n
s
v
e
r
s
e

f
i
e
l
d

0
h
y

(
m
T
)
z = 100 nm
(a)
I/2w
z = 1 m


t
r
a
n
s
v
e
r
s
e

f
i
e
l
d

0
h
y

(
m
T
)
position (m)
z = 1 m
z = 100 nm
I/2w
(c)


p
e
r
p
e
n
d
i
c
u
l
a
r

f
i
e
l
d

0
h
z

(
m
T
)
(b)


p
e
r
p
e
n
d
i
c
u
l
a
r

f
i
e
l
d

0
h
z

(
m
T
)
position (m)
(d)
FIG. 3.8: Calculation of the transverse and perpendicular magnetic eld component of
a coplanar waveguide with Biot-Savarts law for the static case. The calculation are valid
as long as the skin depth is larger than the waveguide lateral dimensions, which is the
case for our waveguides. (a) and (b) are for a height z
0
= 1 m and (c) and (d) for a
height of 100 nm above the waveguide. In the left panels the maximum eld h
hf
= I/2w
is indicated as a dashed line. The geometrical parameters are taken to be those of our
waveguides: center conductor width w = 15 m, ground plane width w
g
= 40 m and gap
width s = 9 m. The maximum achievable eld at a power output of the VNA of 1 mW
at an impedance of 50 is
0
h
hf
= 0.19 mT. In all panels the inset grey boxes are a
schematic cross section of the waveguide electrodes.
3.3.4 Coplanar Waveguide Field Prole
In Fig. 3.8 the calculated high frequency magnetic eld components trans-
verse and perpendicular to the propagation direction of the electromagnetic
waves are shown. The position dependence is computed by dividing the
waveguide cross section into a mesh and treating each cell of the mesh as
if it had the same current density. By summing over all the contribution
at position z one obtains h
y
hf
(y) (transverse) and h
z
hf
(y) (perpendicular).
The result gives also a good approximation to the dynamic case when the
conductor dimensions are much less than the skin depth. This is the case in
our waveguides. The geometrical parameters of the waveguides used in the
experiment as well as a typical VNA power of 1 mW are used. The compu-
tation yields a maximum transverse eld of
0
h
y
max
= 0.19 mT (1.9 Oe in
56 Chapter 3. Experimental Methods
cgs units). The eld can also be calculated from Maxwells equation
I =
_
A
j dA
Stokes
=
_
C
A
j dl
Maxw.
=
_
C
A
h
hf
dl = 2wh
trans
+O(t). (3.30)
A is the area enclosed by the path C
A
. In the limit where the thickness
of the central conductor is much less than its width, t/w 1, the line
integral around the central conductor is just 2w h
trans
. This result holds
because for very thin conducting sheets the transverse eld around the sheet
can be approximated to be a step function [see for example Fig. 3.8 (c)].
The integration path can be chosen as a rectangle whose small sides give
contributions on the order t and the long sides on the order w. The former
can therefore be neglected and one obtains the result h
trans
= I/2w. The
eld value for the actual CPW conductor width of 0.19 mT is shown in Fig.
3.8 (a) and (c) as horizontal dashed line. It is in excellent agreement with
the calculation for z = 100 nm. For greater perpendicular distances the
actual maximum transverse eld drops. [See Fig. 3.8 (a).] This eld drop
has been incorporated in the calculation of the inductive voltage signal by
the spacing loss function f(z, w) in Sec. 3.2. Hence a direct incorporation
of the microstructures on the waveguide is advantageous.
One should note a second feature of waveguides with narrow central con-
ductors. The perpendicular component is approximately a linear function
of the transverse coordinate y in the interval (w/2, w/2). It is maximal at
the edges of the waveguide and changes its sign in the center. The peaks
at the edges are of comparable size to the transverse component and not a
priori negligible. Remember, however, that we investigate thin lms or mi-
crostructures all of which fulll the condition t
s
/w
s
1, which means they
are always much thinner than the width of the central conductor. In all of
the investigated cases, the out of plane component m
z
that might be excited
due to the eld prole will be much smaller than the in-plane component
because of the strong demagnetizing eld on the order of
0
M
S
present in
such thin samples. For permalloy the out-of-plane demagnetizing eld is
1 T.
3.4 Sample Fabrication
Waveguides
For the fabrication of coplanar waveguides a resist mask was fabricated
as follows. Before deposition the substrates were cleaned in an ultrasonic
acetone bath, the acetone residues were removed with isopropyl alcohol. A
3.4. Sample Fabrication 57
a) b)
d) e)
c)
FIG. 3.9: Schematic diagram of the steps of optical lithography and deposition. (a) Resist
(white) coated and baked substrate (dark gray), (b) Exposure through a chrome mask (c)
Developed resist. The exposed parts of the resist are washed away by the developer (d)
Metal deposition. The metal (light gray) is in direct contact with the substrate only in the
parts with no resist. (e) After lift-o process. The remaining resist is soluble in acetone,
while the metal directly in contact with the substrate adheres.
Shipley S1813 resist was spun onto the samples for typically one minute
at a rotation speed of 6000 rpm (rotations per minute) [Fig. 3.9 (a)]. The
samples were then baked in an oven at 80

C for 60 minutes. The baked resist


was exposed by UV light through a chrome mask
7
for typically 3 seconds
[Fig. 3.9 (b)]. Afterwards the exposed resist was developed for 60 seconds
[Fig. 3.9 (c)].
For metal deposition the resist coated and developed samples were moun-
ted in a deposition chamber with an e-beam evaporation system. The cham-
ber has a base pressure of 10
8
mbar. The pressure during deposition was
between 10
7
10
6
mbar depending on the deposition material. For wave-
guides it is important to have relatively thick electrodes to minimize ohmic
losses. We use silver as conductor material because it evaporates at relatively
low temperatures and one can deposit large amounts while the background
pressure remains around 5 10
7
mbar, contrary to gold. Cu yields smoother
surfaces but it cannot be used with GaAs substrates without diusion barrier
7
The chrome blank mask was also fabricated in the Hamburg cleanroom. A high
resolution transparency with 1333 dpi and lpi (dots per inch and lines per inch), which
corresponds to a lateral resolution of 20 m, was printed by HCS-DUDEN, Hamburg, and
rmly put atop of the resist coated chrome blank. The exposure was performed with the
same mask aligner as for the samples. The resist was then developed and the exposed
chromium was wet etched with a reusable Cerium-Nitrate solution.
58 Chapter 3. Experimental Methods
since the two materials form an alloy at the temperatures of the subsequent
PMMA baking process (see description below). We deposited a stack se-
quence of 5 nm Cr as adhesion layer, 100 nm Ag and a 20 nm Au cap to
prevent the silver from oxidation. Typical deposition rates were 1 nm/s for
silver and 0.1 nm/s for all other materials. A resist coated sample after
deposition is schematically shown in Fig. 3.9 (d). Ferromagnetic lms are
deposited by the same e-beam deposition system as the waveguides. As mag-
netic material, we have used the alloy Ni
80
Fe
20
(permalloy). Small pieces
are cut from a commercially available 1 mm
2
diameter wire and evaporated
from a tungsten boat. It is important to use uncoated tungsten boats only
once as alloying of iron and tungsten may occur, which would change the
permalloy stoichiometry. This change in stoichiometry remains tolerable in
the rst deposition step.
Ultrasonic-assisted lift-o was performed after deposition by rst letting
the samples boil in acetone and a following short ultrasonic bath. The resist
is soluble in acetone and is washed away together with all metal on top of it.
The metal directly deposited on the substrate sticks, whereby the pattern
of the chrome mask is transferred to a metal pattern on the substrate [Fig.
3.9 (e)].
For waveguides for the measurement of ferromagnetic microstructures
we used GaAs as substrate material. It can be cleaved in the desired sizes
and has excellent surfaces. Its high dielectric constant (
r
= 12.9) allows
one to have a small central conductor with still relatively large gaps, which
facilitates the fabrication. The central conductor is only 15 m wide to
increase the excitation eld h
hf
and the waveguide sensitivity. To minimize
signal damping the waveguides are only 2 mm long. An optical micrograph
of a nished CPW for microstructures is shown in Fig. 3.10 (a). For the
measurement on plain lms 104 mm
2
polished glass substrates were used
to accommodate the lms [Fig. 3.10 (b)]. Waveguides can be used several
times. The limiting factors to waveguide lifetime are the high frequency
probe scratches due to the mechanical contact at the waveguide contact
pads and scratches due to putting and taking away samples with tweezers
in the case of plain lms.
Ferromagnetic Microstructures
Since the microstructures should be integrated directly on the central con-
ductor of the waveguide, alignment markers are needed for the positioning
of the microstructures on the waveguides in an e-beam lithography step. Big
outer structures [in the corners of Fig. 3.10 (a)] dene a large coordinate sys-
3.4. Sample Fabrication 59
175 m
500 m
2.55 mm
(a)
(b)
(c)
15 m
FIG. 3.10: Optical micrographs of two nished waveguides. (a) CPW on GaAs for
microstructures. Center conductor width 15 m. In the corner are the outer markers, the
square in the middle is the zoomed area of panel (c). (b) CPW on glass for plain lms.
The center conductor in this case is 175 m. Note the dierence in lateral sizes in (a) and
(b). Panel (c) shows a blow-up of the area of the CPW marked with a square in (a). Note
the eight internal markers.
5 m
a) b)
FIG. 3.11: (a) Scanning electron micrograph of part of an array of a nished sample
consisting of 2 m diameter 300 nm wide rings on a coplanar waveguide. (b) 3D rendered
atomic force micrograph of 500 nm wide rings on a waveguide.
60 Chapter 3. Experimental Methods
tem the origin of which is in the center of the waveguide. From the origin,
inner markers can be scanned to improve the positioning accuracy. Figure
3.10 (c) shows eight inner markers. Usually only four are used. The other
four markers can be used if multiple lithography steps are needed. For the
exposure of arrays of patterned magnets, ve blocks of alignment markers
like those in Fig. 3.10 (c) are dened along the waveguide center conductor.
The spacings of the micromagnets have to be matched to the length of
the alignment blocks to produce a large seamless array. The length L of
each of the ve alignment blocks is 200 m. For N micromagnets with a
spacing D from middle to middle, one has L = ND. Typically the rings
investigated in this thesis have a diameter of 2 m and a period of 4 m. In
each alignment block one can accommodate 50 rings in a row. Three rows
nd place on the center conductor. This yields 50 3 5 = 750 rings on a
waveguide.
For the fabrication of symmetric and asymmetric rings as well as rectan-
gular elements the nished waveguides are again resist coated, this time with
a bilayer of poly(methyl metacrylate) (PMMA), one with molecular weight
of 50K the other with 950K, and baked. The lower weight resist is used to
produce an undercut in the lower resist layer in order to facilitate lift-o,
while the upper layer is less sensitive to the proximity eect, i.e. the broad-
ening of the exposed area by scattered electrons. The samples are exposed
with 30 kV electrons in a vacuum of typically 1 10
7
mbar, with a typical
area dose of 150 C/cm
2
. The exposed samples are developed in isobutyl
alcohol for 90 sec and then stopped for 45 sec. This is followed by permalloy
deposition and lift-o processing. Examples of nished waveguides with an
integrated array of rings with 2 m diameter are shown in Fig. 3.11. Panel
(a) shows 300 nm wide rings and panel (b) 500 nm wide rings.
3.5 Magnetic Force Microscopy
To investigate the magnetostatic properties of microstructures and plain
lms magnetic force microscopy (MFM) has been performed.
MFM utilizes a miniature cantilever (often silicon) with a magnetically
coated tip. The cantilever oscillates at its resonance frequency and the
amplitude A(, ) is read by a laser and a two- or four-quadrant photo
detector. is the drive frequency and the phase shift with respect to
the drive voltage. The cantilever is scanned over the sample at height z
by means of piezo actuators and the perpendicular component of the stray
eld originating from the magnetic sample causes a phase shift in the
3.5. Magnetic Force Microscopy 61
cantilever motion. The phase shift is proportional to the second derivative
of this stray eld component [Car00]


2
H
z
z
2
. (3.31)
(x, y) is recorded as a function of in-plane scanning position and provides
in a false color plot information about the spatial magnetization distribution.
The topography of the sample can also inuence the phase shift of the
cantilever. In a realistic MFM measurement mode one can get rid of this
by scanning the cantilever along a line at little height, typically 10 nm, to
record topography information (atomic force microscopy mode) and then by
scanning a second time along the same line with a constant height over the
just recorded topography, in our case z
lift
= 50 nm (lift-mode).
Relation (3.31) shows that the measurement signal is not directly related
to the sample magnetization M(x, y). The extraction of quantitative infor-
mation from MFM images is therefore a challenge. In principle it is possible
to model the magnetized tip as an eective dipole [Car00] and calculate the
phase shift it experiences in the stray eld of a sample. With the eec-
tive dipole model, one can also calculate MFM images from micromagnetic
simulations and compare them to measured images [Bar04] to facilitate the
interpretation. For the purpose of this thesis qualitative MFM data were
sucient.
The important feature of the MFM used here was the possibility to apply
an in-plane eld of up to 100 mT. To this end the whole MFM is mounted
in a pair of large Helmholtz coils. The MFM was set up by Dr. G. Meier in
the group of Prof. Dr. Merkt. Measurements were performed together with
Dr. M. Steiner and A. van Staa.
Chapter 4
Magnetization Dynamics of
Rectangular Elements
Recent experimental and theoretical results have shown that rectangular
magnetic elements display a wealth of interesting dynamic spin properties.
Longitudinally magnetized long wires show quantized standing spin waves
[Jor99, Mat98] in Brillouin light scattering experiments. The quantization
of the spin waves is ascribed to the lateral connement due to the narrow
wire width w. In transversely magnetized wires a mode localization at the
wire edges was observed by Brillouin light scattering [Jor02, Bay03b] and by
space and time resolved Kerr microscopy [Par02, Bay04]. The localization
takes place due to the internal eld inhomogeneity. For these experiments
an approximate theoretical description exists [Gus02]. Few results exist,
however, from inductive detection [Bai03, Bai01].
For rectangular elements conned in all in-plane directions similar quan-
tization and localization eects [Jor02, Tam02, Gub04, Per05, Par03] are
found. The mathematical description is more dicult but still feasible
[Gus03]. Inductive detection has been performed even more scarcely in this
case [Cra03], which motivates our interest in these structures on the one
hand.
On the other hand, we have found that the internal eld inhomogeneity
is similar to the internal eld prole in certain segments of nanostructured
rings. The mathematical description that exists for the nite rectangular
elements will turn out to be very helpful in the description of the ring modes.
Therefore investigations on rectangular elements also help to understand
ring-shaped magnets. In the following t denotes the thickness, w the width,
and L the length of rectangular elements. A coordinate system is chosen to
62
4.1. Magnetostatics of Rectangular Elements 63
-2.0
-1.5
-1.0
-0.5
0.0
0.5
1.0
1.5
2.0
30
60
90
-0.5
0.0
0.5

0
H
i
n
t
(
m
T
)
y
,
w
(

m
)
x,L
(
m
)
(a)
x
(b)
-1.0
-0.5
0.0
0.5
1.0
30
60
90
-0.5
0.0
0.5

0
H
i n
t
(
m
T
)
y
,
w
(

m
)
x,
L
(
m
)
-0.5
0.0
0.5
30
60
90
-0.5
0.0
0.5

0
H
in
t
(
m
T
)
y
,
w
(

m
)
x,
L
(
m
)
H M ,
(c)
y
FIG. 4.1: Internal elds of rectangular elements calculated after [Jos65] at 90 mT for the
three aspect ratios used in the experiment. (a) square 1 1 m
2
, (b) 2 1 m
2
, and (c)
4 1 m
2
. The thickness is assumed to be 20 nm. Note that the inhomogeneity at the
center decreases and the maximum value increases for longer elements.
have the x axis along the length of the rectangular magnets and the z axis
along the thickness. (See sketch in Fig. 4.1)
4.1 Magnetostatics of Rectangular Elements
In the experimental investigation we will concentrate on saturated rectangu-
lar elements. Therefore the discussion of the magnetostatics is focused on the
internal eld distribution of rectangular elements in a saturating eld. The
full reversal process and the ux-closure states will not be discussed here.
Experiments addressing this regime can be found in [Per05, Cho04, Sto04].
We investigated rectangles with lateral dimensions L w of 4 1 m
2
,
2 1 m
2
and squares with 1 1 m
2
. They are made of t = 20 5 nm
thick permalloy as measured by AFM. We label these samples R4, R2, and
R1, respectively.
In rectangular magnetic elements the internal eld is inhomogeneous
even when the magnetization is homogeneous due to the demagnetizing eld
64 Chapter 4. Magnetization Dynamics of Rectangular Elements
at the borders. An analytical description of this situation was given by
Joseph and Schlomann [Jos65]. Consider the case investigated here, namely
elements magnetized in-plane along their long sides (or along any side in
the case of squares). The coordinate system is chosen such that the plane of
the rectangles is the (x, y)-plane and the external eld is applied along the
x direction. It is supposed to saturate the magnetization in the x direction.
In this case the internal eld is given by
H
int
= H
ext
N
xx
(r)M (4.1)
with r = (x, y, z). Because we are not dealing with ellipsoidal samples the
demagnetizing eld is not homogeneous, which is expressed by the spatial
dependence of the demagnetizing factor. As has been shown in the introduc-
tion the demagnetizing eld can be derived from a magnetic scalar potential
according to (2.12). The magnetization entering this integral will not be
homogeneous over the whole sample in real nanomagnets except for very
high elds. Joseph and Schlomann take this into account by developing this
expression in ascending powers of M/H
ext
. For high external eld the zero
order solution is a good approximation for our experimental situation. The
demagnetizing factor thus calculated reads :
N
xx
(r) = cot
1
(g(x, y, z)) + cot
1
(g(x, y, z))
+cot
1
(g(x, y, z)) + cot
1
(g(x, y, z))
+cot
1
(g(x, y, z)) + cot
1
(g(x, y, z))
+cot
1
(g(x, y, z)) + cot
1
(g(x, y, z)), (4.2)
where
g(x, y, z) =
_
(w/2 y)
2
+ (t/2 z)
2
+ (L/2 x)
2
(L/2 x)
(w/2 y)(t/2 z)
. (4.3)
The results of this equation using the experimental parameters and as-
suming an applied eld of
0
H = 90 mT are presented in Fig. 4.1. The
internal eld of the 1 1 m
2
square (a) resembles a horse saddle (horse
back points in the y direction). There is a strong drop of the internal eld
at the square edges in the magnetization direction e
x
due to the surface
poles. The demagnetizing eld points mainly in the opposite direction of
the magnetization. This causes the internal eld in the element center to be
weaker than the applied eld. In the transverse direction there are no surface
poles. The inhomogeneity in the transverse direction is also mainly caused
4.1. Magnetostatics of Rectangular Elements 65
1x2 1x1
OOMMF
M
Joseph
Schlmann
&
Hint
M
Hint
FIG. 4.2: Upper row: Magnetization conguration of a 1 1 m
2
square (left) and a
2 1 m
2
rectangle (right) calculated by OOMMF at 92 mT. The pattern is called ower
state. Second row: Internal elds simulated at 92 mT with OOMMF. Third row: Internal
eld calculated after Eq. 4.2. Fourth row: Sketch of magnetization in the analytical model.
by the poles on the short edges. Looking at longer rectangular sample one
recognizes that the inhomogeneity at the short edges remains approximately
the same for all three presented elements. The transverse inhomogeneity at
the element center, however, becomes less pronounced as the length of the
element is increased. Due to the increased length the surface poles are wider
separated and the demagnetizing eld is weaker at the element center. We
note that the longer the magnetic element the more the internal eld in the
element center approaches the external eld H
int
(0, 0) H
ext
.
The internal eld at the edges can become negative in the rst approx-
imation which is physically questionable within this model. It means that
in the edge region the magnetization is antiparallel to the applied eld. In
reality the magnetization will rotate in the plane and lie along the edges of
a magnetic element (See diagram Fig. 4.2, fourth row). The internal eld
in this case can be assumed to be zero [Bry89], and the negative values of
the calculated elds in Fig. 4.1 are cropped. OOMMF simulations can have
negative internal eld values due to the exchange eld which is included. In
this case the magnetization is not necessarily antiparallel and the negative
elds are not unphysical. The edge regions might assume more complex
magnetization distributions. OOMMF typically predicts the so called ower
66 Chapter 4. Magnetization Dynamics of Rectangular Elements
state for our rectangles without taking into account the nite temperature
(Fig. 4.2 uppermost row). Langevin dynamics simulations, which take into
account thermal uctuations, have been reported to predict the instability of
the ower state. Instead the S or C state are favored [Bay05]. These states
bear a greater similarity to the simplifying analytic model of the magnetiza-
tion. The micromagnetic simulation of the ower sate and the comparison
of simulated and analytically calculated internal elds are given in Fig. 4.2.
Still, there is a reasonable agreement between the analytic internal eld and
the OOMMF simulation.
4.2 Magnetization Dynamics: PIMM and FMR
Data
In the following section we present the experimental data of the magneti-
zation dynamics of the rectangles. We compare time and frequency domain
data for our rectangular structures. We nd several characteristic modes.
They will be discussed in the framework of the dipole-exchange spin wave
theory with wave vector quantization. We compare our results to published
work on inductive detection of quantized spin waves in larger rectangular
elements.
4.2.1 Frequency Domain Data
In Fig. 4.3 we present a grey scale plot and a spectrum of R4 obtained by
VNA-FMR. The external eld was applied along the long axis of the rect-
angular elements forming the array, unless explicitly otherwise stated. We
can clearly identify in the grey scale plot a main mode and two higher order
modes. At lower elds there is another mode (D), which is not easily dis-
tinguishable in the grey scale plot but still reliably visible in the absorption
spectra due to its magnetic eld shift. The extracted dispersion of R1, R2,
and R4 are displayed in Fig. 4.4. The number of resolved higher order modes
increases with the sample size, because the signal to noise ratio is higher due
to the additional magnetic material.
The resonance frequencies of mode A in all three samples are on the same
order of magnitude but one notices a systematic drop from f = 10.46 GHz
at 89.5 mT for R4 to f = 9.30 GHz for R1.
4.2. Magnetization Dynamics: PIMM and FMR Data 67
0 5 10 15 20 0 20 40 60 80
2
4
6
8
10
12
14

0
H (mT)
f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f

(
G
H
z
)
(a)
A
B
C
D
(b)


a
b
s
o
r
p
t
i
o
n

(
a
r
b
.

u
n
i
t
s
)
frequency f (GHz)
A
B
C
R4
FIG. 4.3: (a) Grey Scale plot of the absorption spectra of R4. We can clearly identify four
modes, (A, B, C, D). Mode D is marked with an arrow in (a). It can be extracted from the
detailed investigation of the single spectra due to its characteristic frequency shift. The
grey scale dynamic range is not high enough for this mode to be easily recognized in the
plot alone. (b) Absorption spectrum of R4 at an applied eld of
0
H = 57 mT showing
the main resonance A, and the higher order modes B and C. The step-like feature around
15 GHz is due to the waveguides transmission characteristics.
0 20 40 60 80
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
0 20 40 60 80 0 20 40 60 80


f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f

(
G
H
z
)

0
H (mT)
(a)
R1 R2

0
H (mT)
D
C
B
R4
(c) (b)

0
H (mT)
A
FIG. 4.4: Magnetic eld dispersion of the resonance frequencies. (a) R1, (b) R2, and (c)
R4. We can identify two higher order modes. A low frequency mode (D) is observed in
all three samples at low magnetic elds. Time domain data is included as empty circles
for R4 in (c).
68 Chapter 4. Magnetization Dynamics of Rectangular Elements
0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5
-0.04
-0.02
0.00
0.02
0.04
0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5


V
i
n
d

~

d
M
/
d
t

(
m
V
)
time t (ns)
(a)

0
H = 75 mT


time t (ns)
(b)
FIG. 4.5: (a) Background removal for PIMM data. Black line experimental data. An
averaging window with a width of the oscillation period is used to eliminate the oscilla-
tory part of the signal. The background thus obtained is shown as grey line. (b) After
background subtraction the signal is symmetric around zero. This avoids low frequency
non-magnetic contributions in the Fourier transformed data.
4.2.2 Time Domain Data
In this section we present the time domain data for the sample with 41 m
2
rectangular elements (R4). In Fig. 4.5 (a) the induced voltage at 75 mT is
shown. Typically the data have a background. Such a background leads
to spurious low frequency contributions in the Fourier spectrum. It can be
removed by using an averaging window with the period of the time signal.
This averaging removes the high frequency oscillations from the data and
only leaves the background (grey line) which can then be subtracted. The
result is shown in panel (b). The data are numerically Fourier transformed.
The frequency resolution is proportional to the data set length t
tot
: f =
1/t
tot
. Therefore we use zero padding to enhance the frequency resolution.
In Fig. 4.6 we show some processed traces at dierent eld values and the
Fourier transformations for elds between 89.5 mT and 0 mT. One notices
that there is one peak in the Fourier spectra of the induced voltages of the
array R4 which characteristically shifts with the applied external eld. The
position of the resonances as function of the applied eld are shown in Fig.
4.4 (c) together with the frequency domain measurements. The agreement
is excellent showing that the two measurements are indeed complementary
4.3. Theory of Quantized Spin Waves in Rectangular Elements 69
0 5 10 15 20


s
p
e
c
t
r
a
l

p
o
w
e
r

(
a
r
b
.

u
n
i
t
s
)
frequency f (GHz)
(b)
0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5
0.00
0.05
0.10
0.15
0.20
89.5 mT
0 mT


V
i
n
d

~

d
M
/
d
t

(
m
V
)
time t (ns)
(a)
0 mT
89.5 mT
FIG. 4.6: (a) Time traces at dierent applied elds for R4. The curves are oset for clarity.
(b) Fourier transformed traces. One recognizes a distinct peak that characteristically shifts
as the applied eld is varied between 89.5 mT and 0 mT.
in the small angle precession regime, and that the data processing does not
introduce artifacts. We see, however, that the VNA-FMR set-up shows a
higher sensitivity since it can resolve the higher order modes of R4. The
reason is that in the frequency domain one employs a lock-in technique with
a very narrow lter that suppresses all signals at frequencies other than the
actual measurement frequency whereas in PIMM one picks up noise over a
frequency band of 20 GHz. Therefore in the following we concentrate on the
frequency domain data and mention again that the strength of time domain
measurements lies in the capability of probing large angle dynamics and
switching.
4.3 Theory of Quantized Spin Waves in Rectan-
gular Elements
The theory of dipole-exchange spin waves has been elaborated in [Gus02]
for innitely long magnetic wires and in [Gus03] for the case of rectangular
magnetic elements. We present a short review because these specic results
are needed for the discussion and interpretation of our experimental data
70 Chapter 4. Magnetization Dynamics of Rectangular Elements
and they will also be needed later for the discussion of the mode localization
in rings. In the following we assume only negligible variation of static and
dynamic magnetization along the out-of-plane coordinate z.
For longitudinally magnetized wires the dynamic demagnetizing eld will
be the strongest contribution to the internal eld. If the width is in the mi-
crometer range the exchange will only play a subordinate role. Therefore
solutions to the eigenvalue problem (2.59) are constructed from eigenfunc-
tions of the dipole integral operator. If one truncates the eigenfunctions
expansion after the second term one obtains an equation for the pinning
boundary conditions formally analogous to the Rado-Weertman equation
(2.63). These boundary conditions are, however, of dipolar nature as op-
posed to surface anisotropy pinning. The physical reason of this pinning is
to minimize the dynamic demagnetizing eld. The symmetric and antisym-
metric eigenfunctions are given by cosine and sine functions, respectively,
with a discrete wave vector k
n
due to the lateral connement:
k
n
=
(n + 1)
w
e
=
(n + 1)
w
_
d(p) 2
d(p)
_
, n = 1, 2, 3, . . . , (4.4)
where the aspect ratio is p = t/w and the pinning parameter d is given by
d(p) =
2
p(1 2 ln(p))
. (4.5)
In rectangular elements there will be discrete wave vectors in both in-
plane directions due to the connement. Additionally, the internal eld in-
homogeneity has to be taken into account. In [Gus03, Bay04, Jor02, Tam02]
it is demonstrated that the eld inhomogeneity leads to a localization of spin
waves. According to the wave vector one classies exchange localization at
the edges (small wave vector) and dipolar localization in the elements center
(large wave vector). The wave vectors are given by:
k
m,x
=
(m+ 1)

, and k
n,y
=
(n + 1)
w
e
n, m = 0, 1, 2 . . . , (4.6)
where (0, L) is the localization length. We will explain below the mech-
anism of mode localization. The total in-plane wave vector is given by

2
mn
= k
2
m,x
+ k
2
n,y
. The transverse parts of the rst four modes are shown
in Fig. 4.8.
In [Gus03] it is assumed that the eigenfunctions of a rectangular ele-
ment can be factorized in the eigenfunctions of innitely long longitudinally
4.3. Theory of Quantized Spin Waves in Rectangular Elements 71
and transversely magnetized wires m
mn
(x, y) =
m
(k
m,x
x)
n
(k
n,y
y). The
dispersion of the thin lm can be extended to rectangles by

2
mn
=
_

mn
H
+
M

2
mn
_ _

mn
H
+
M

2
mn
+
M
F
mn
(
mn
t)
_
. (4.7)
The internal eld inhomogeneity is taken into account by averaging the mode
prole over the internal eld prole:

mn
H
=
H

M
N
mn
, with (4.8)
N
mn
=
4
wt
_
d

m
2
mn
(

)N
xx
(

). (4.9)
The integration extends over the area of the rectangle and
H
=
0
H,
M
=

0
M.
mn
H
is the frequency corresponding to the eective internal eld
value and N
mn
is the eective demagnetizing factor of mode (m, n).
The quantized matrix elements are given by the expression for the thin
lms using the quantized wave vectors and noting that cos
2
(
mn
) =
k
2
m,x

2
mn
and sin
2
(
mn
) =
k
2
y,n

2
mn
. This leads to
F
mn
(
mn
t) = 1 P(
mn
t)
_
k
2
m,x

2
mn
_
+
P(
mn
t) (1 P(
mn
t))
_

M

H
mn
+
M

2
mn
_
_
k
2
n,y

2
mn
_
,
(4.10)
with
P(
mn
t) = 1
1 exp(
mn
t)

mn
t
. (4.11)
In order to calculate the spin wave frequencies, in principle one has
to know the dynamic magnetization prole (see Eq. 4.9). Fortunately the
dependence of the calculated frequencies on the exact form of the prole is
weak. Mainly the discrete values of the wave vector determine the resonance
frequency. It will be seen in the following that the assumption that mode
proles in rectangles can be factorized in proles known from transversely
and longitudinally magnetized wires leads to a very good description of our
data.
72 Chapter 4. Magnetization Dynamics of Rectangular Elements
0 20 40 60 80 100
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
0 20 40 60 80 100 0 20 40 60 80 100


f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f

(
G
H
z
)

0
H (mT)
(a)
t =19 nm
= 0.49*L
w =1.1
M =1.08 T
t =16 nm
= 0.55*L
w =1.15
M =1.07 T

0
H (mT)
n = 3
n = 2
n = 1
t =20 nm
= 0.65*L
w =1.1
M =1.09 T
(c) (b)

0
H (mT)
n = 0
FIG. 4.7: Comparison of experimental (symbols) and calculated (lines) magnetic eld
dispersions of the mode frequencies for (a) R1, (b) R2, and (c) R4. In order to t the
theoretical dispersion we used t, , w, and M as parameters. The geometrical best t
parameters t and w are all within the error margins of experimentally determined param-
eters. The deviation of M among samples is less than 5%. The low frequency mode is not
captured by the model.
4.4 Quantized Spin Waves Detected With Induc-
tive Detection
Now we will apply the theoretical formalism to our magnetic eld dispersion
data. The results of the calculation after Eq. 4.7 are shown as grey lines
in Fig. 4.7 for the lowest seven mode indices. We assumed the appropriate
cosine and sine mode proles in both in-plane directions with the wave
vectors given in Eq. 4.6. Note that the result is only weakly dependent on
the exact mode prole. We initially assumed a localization length
0
= 0.5L
and iteratively tted the theoretical dispersion to the data. The integral in
(4.9) is computed numerically. The thickness of the samples was determined
by AFM as 20 5 nm. The width was determined to be w = 1.1 m. The
saturation magnetization
0
M is assumed to be near the literature value of
1.08 T. The calculation describes the data very well with the best parameters
indicated in the gure panels. To obtain agreement between calculations and
experimental data slight variations of the geometrical parameters from the
measured values have to be allowed. The deviations of the parameters are
within the error margins.
Following the theoretical curves we detected only modes with even mode
4.4. Quantized Spin Waves Detected With Inductive Detection 73
-1.0 -0.5 0.0 0.5 1.0
-1.0
-0.5
0.0
0.5
1.0
-1.0 -0.5 0.0 0.5 1.0
n=1

d
y
n
a
m
i
c

m
a
g
n
e
t
i
z
a
t
i
o
n

m
y

(
a
r
b
.

u
n
i
t
s
)
y/w
n=0
n=3
n=2

y/w
FIG. 4.8: Analytical mode proles along the transverse coordinate of the rectangular
elements after [Gus02] for the mode indices n = 0, . . . , 4. The mode index counts the
number of zero crossings (excluding the nodes at the boundaries y/w = 1). The eective
pinning can be observed here. Its physical mechanism is the minimization of the dynamic
demagnetizing elds.
index n = 0, 2, . . ., which we will explain in the following. The mode index
counts the number of nodes excluding the nodes at the boundary of the
elements. The rst four transverse mode proles are shown in Fig. 4.8.
Modes with odd mode index have also an odd symmetry with respect to the
element center. This has two consequences. Firstly, we had shown in Sec.
3.2 that the induced voltage due to the dynamic magnetization is given by
V
ind
(t) =

0
t
s
L
4w
f(z, w)
w/2
_
w/2
dM
y
(y

)
dt
dy

. (4.12)
Because we have to average the magnetization distribution along the trans-
verse direction (y direction), modes with an odd symmetry do not induce a
voltage in the CPW:
V
as
ind
(t) i
w/2
_
w/2
sin
_
(n + 1)
w
e
y

_
dy


_
cos
_
(n + 1)
w
e
y

__ w
2

w
2
0.
(4.13)
74 Chapter 4. Magnetization Dynamics of Rectangular Elements
This shows that with our measurement geometry we can detect only
symmetric modes with even indices n. This is also valid for the mode index
in the other in-plane direction but our experimental results are well described
under the assumption that only the lowest index mode in the longitudinal
direction is excited.
The second consequence of the mode symmetry properties is the follow-
ing: The excitation eld h
hf
is homogeneous over the samples. This makes
it surprising that we are able to detect any higher order modes. In any
case it shows that only modes with even symmetry can be excited [Tam02].
Using Eq. 4.12 for the induced voltage with symmetric mode proles we
calculate that the induced voltage for even mode indices should drop as
V
n
ind
1/(n + 1). For the indices n = 0, 2, 4 we would expect amplitude
ratios of 1 : 1/3 : 1/5. The drop in absorption amplitudes is much stronger
in our experiment, 1 : 1/25 : 1/51 for R4 and similar for the others. This
shows that indeed the excitation of these higher order modes is much less
eective than that of the lowest order mode.
We argue that the nite width of the samples and the dipolar pinning
at the boundaries is of prime importance for the transfer of wave vectors
under excitation of a homogeneous eld h
hf
. Kittel predicted in 1958 [Kit58]
that a uniform eld can excite perpendicular standing spin wave modes with
even symmetry in plain lms provided the spins at the surfaces experience
pinning. For asymmetric modes the torque on the magnetization averages
to zero. The fact that higher order in-plane modes are excited in our exper-
iment shows that the modes must be pinned at the rectangle boundaries.
(Otherwise they could not be excited by a uniform eld h
rf
.) Including
dipolar pinning in the calculation yields very good agreement with the data.
The resonance frequencies decrease slightly as the length of the sample
decreases from L = 4 m to 1 m. The mode splitting between the higher
order modes becomes also slightly smaller. This is a consequence of the
decreasing internal eld due to the demagnetizing eld as shown in Fig. 4.1.
As the length of the rectangular elements becomes smaller their internal
eld decreases.
The good agreement between theory and experiment conrms that we
have detected quantized dipolar Damon-Eshbach waves by broadband FMR.
In the literature similar data obtained by inductive detection on larger
squares (50 m) have been discussed using the Damon-Eshbach dispersion
relation with a quantized wave vector [Cra03]. Agreement between the data
has been achieved by the inclusion of the numerically calculated dynamic
demagnetizing eld. In particular the quantization of the longitudinal wave
vector is neglected in the Damon-Eshbach formula used in [Cra03]. Al-
4.4. Quantized Spin Waves Detected With Inductive Detection 75
0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8
8.50
8.75
9.00
9.25
9.50
x
2
-0.4 -0.2 0.0 0.2 0.4
0.00
0.05
0.10
0.15
0.20
0.25
0
20
40
60
80
x
2
-0.4 -0.2 0.0 0.2 0.4
0.0
0.5
1.0
1.5
2.0
2.5
x
2
0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5
2
3
4
5
0
5
10
15
20
25


f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f

(
G
H
z
)
wave vector k
x
(10
7
/m)
(a)
x
1
x
2
x
3
f
exp
89.5 mT
x
3
w
a
v
e

v
e
c
t
o
r

k
x


(
1
0
7
/
m
)
normalized position x/L
(b)
x
1
i
n
t
e
r
n
a
l

f
i
e
l
d

0
H
i
n
t

(
m
T
)
i
n
t
e
r
n
a
l

f
i
e
l
d

0
H
i
n
t

(
m
T
)
w
a
v
e

v
e
c
t
o
r

k
x

(
1
0
7
/
m
)
normalized position x/L
(d)
x
1
x
1


f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f

(
G
H
z
)
wave vector k
x
(10
7
/m)
(c)
32.2 mT


FIG. 4.9: (a) Wave vector dispersion at 89.5 mT calculated with Eq. 4.7 and values
for the internal magnetic eld at dierent positions x
i
in the square element R1. The
experimental frequency is included as grey horizontal line. (b) The wave vector k
x
(x)
calculated from f
exp
= f(H
int
(x), k
x
, k
y
). One can see a mode localization which is due
to the internal eld inhomogeneity (not the element boundaries). (c) and (d) show the
calculation for the exchange mode at 32.2 mT.
though the analysis in [Cra03] is correct and yields excellent agreement we
prefer to apply the theory of Guslienko et al. [Gus03] because it includes the
eect of the inhomogeneous internal eld and quantization in both in-plane
direction. Therefore we believe it allows for a deeper understanding. We
note that in [Cra03] only one resonance mode was found by time domain
inductive detection in the case of squares smaller than the waveguide center
conductor width. This is in accord with our data.
In [Tam02, Gus03] it has been shown by scanning Kerr microscopy that
the modes we have just discussed are localized in the element center. Let us
explain the mechanism of mode localization. The argument presented here
76 Chapter 4. Magnetization Dynamics of Rectangular Elements
will later be applied to describe the mode localization in ring side arms.
In Fig. 4.9 (a) several dispersion curves of the square R1 taken at dierent
values of the internal eld are plotted together with the experimentally found
frequency f
exp
at 89.5 mT. The internal eld was calculated after (4.2). We
see that the local dispersion at position x
1
and x
2
does have a crossing with
the experimental frequency whereas the dispersion taken at position x
3
does
not cross f
exp
. This means that there is no real wave vector which could
fulll the relation
f
exp
= f(H
int
(x
3
), k
x
, k
y
). (4.14)
A spin wave in the element center will be exponentially damped outside
the region bounded by x
3
. These coordinates constitute turning points for
the spin waves. This denes a localization length = 2 x
3
which is in this
case 490 nm. This value is in excellent agreement with the
0
= 500 nm
localization length we had assumed for the calculation. We note that the
agreement is not always as good as in this case. In general one has to nd a
consistent set of parameters consisting of M, , and the geometrical param-
eters. For R2 for example we assume for the calculation of the dispersion
in Fig. 4.7 (b) an initial localization
0
= 1.1 m. With the dispersion thus
calculated and the experimental frequency we nd a value of = 1.35 m,
which is close to
0
but not as close as for R1. Note also that we assume the
magnetic eld dependence of the localization length to be small enough to
be neglected. Since the wave vector k
x
is rather low in the case of the mode
localization of mode A one speaks of dipolar mode localization [Gus03].
Whether a localized standing spin wave in the internal eld prole can
exist depends on the fulllment of the position dependent wave vector of the
semiclassical quantization integral:

+ 2
x

_
x

k
n
(x, f
exp
, H
int
)dx
. .

q
= 2l , l = 1, 2 . . . (4.15)
We introduce the symbol
q
for the integral in (4.15). Here, x

and x

are the turning points of the wave and

and

are phase jumps at the


turning points. They are in general unknown [Bay03b]. In the case of mode
A of R1 x

= x
3
and x

= +x
3
. The in-plane wave vector k
m,x
we have
assumed for the calculation of the mode frequency must be interpreted as the
average of the real (position dependent) wave vector along the longitudinal
4.4. Quantized Spin Waves Detected With Inductive Detection 77
-0.50 -0.25 0.00 0.25 0.50
-1
0
1
-1
0
1

n
o
r
m
a
l
i
z
e
d

d
y
n
a
m
i
c

m
a
g
n
e
t
i
z
a
t
i
o
n
normalized coordinate x/L
n
o
r
m
a
l
i
z
e
d

i
n
t
e
r
n
a
l

f
i
e
l
d
FIG. 4.10: Prole of the lowest symmetric (black line) and asymmetric (grey line) ex-
change edge modes along the longitudinal coordinate x/L. The analytical functions are
even and odd Mathieu functions. The internal eld prole is shown. The modes are lo-
calized in the region where the internal eld drops to zero. This region forms a spin wave
well.
component. It identically fullls the quantization integral. For the position
dependent wave vector calculated for the dipolar mode n = 0 we obtain from
numerical integration
0
q
= 0.65788. This is far away from but one does
not know the phase jumps at the turning points. The quantization integral
strongly depends on the experimental frequency and the internal eld prole.
In the literature
0
q
is treated as an order of magnitude estimate [Bay03b].
Let us nally turn to the lowest lying mode, which we have not discussed
yet. This mode depends only very weakly on the geometrical parameters of
the samples. Its frequency is the lowest of all observed modes. This latter
observations shows that it must be located in a region where the internal eld
is small. This is the case at the longitudinal edges where the internal eld
drops o due to the surfaces charges. Additionally it can be seen from the
calculated internal eld proles of the rectangular elements that the region
of inhomogeneity at the short edges is very similar for all three rectangles.
We therefore argue that this mode is an exchange dominated edge mode
which can exist in a spin wave well [Jor02, Bay03b] similar to a particle in
a potential well. In Fig. 4.10 a diagram of the two lowest spin wave well
modes is shown along with internal eld of a R1 as an illustration.
The analytical description of these modes can be done by approximating
the real internal eld value by a eld with cosine shape which is matched
78 Chapter 4. Magnetization Dynamics of Rectangular Elements
to the edge regions where the modes are located. This is done because
with a cosine shape the dierential equation of the exchange operator can
be reduced to the Mathieu dierential equation which has known solutions.
The solutions are the even and odd Mathieu functions Ce
n
() and Se
n+1
(),
respectively. The mode proles are very similar to numerically calculated
proles [Gub04]. In principle one can numerically evaluate the magnetic
eld dispersion of the exchange mode but this is beyond the scope of this
thesis. Details of the full calculation can be found in [Gub04].
Analogously to the dipolar mode localization one can explain the mode
localization of the exchange mode. This time the crossing of the dispersion
with the experimental frequency of the exchange edge mode must be con-
sidered. In Fig. 4.9 (c) it can be seen that the crossing is at much higher
wave vectors. Again one nds turning points which dene an interval in
which there are real wave vector values fullling the dispersion relation at
the experimental frequency. The position dependent wave vector is shown
as black line in panel (d). Outside the interval delimited by the turning
points the spin wave is exponentially damped. Because for the edge mode
the wave vectors are much higher than for the modes localized at the square
center one calls it exchange dominated mode.
Concluding this chapter, we have investigated the ferromagnetic reso-
nance of patterned permalloy rectangular elements. We have detected higher
order quantized spin waves up to order n = 4. The mode frequencies could
be well described by the theory of dipole-exchange spin waves. We detected
only symmetric modes. It was argued that due to the homogeneous excita-
tion only symmetric modes are excited and that due to the integral detection
of the waveguide only symmetric modes can be detected. Additionally we
have observed a low frequency mode that we identied as an exchange edge
mode. It exists in a so called spin wave well at the edges of the rectangular
elements. We have explained how a mode localization at the element center
and at the edges occurs in the framework of what is called in the literature
a WKB argument [Bay04, Bay03b]. Our ndings are consistent with other
investigation in the literature using dierent experimental techniques.
Chapter 5
Magnetostatics of Patterned
Mesoscopic Rings
It is instructive for the understanding of the magnetodynamics of rings to
give an overview of their magnetostatics properties. In our group the qua-
sistatic reversal of rings was investigated by means of Hall magnetometry
[Rol04] and combined Hall magnetometry and magnetotransport measure-
ments [Ber04]. In the literature a number of investigations was reported
using dierent techniques such as magnetotransport [Kla02], SEMPA and
PEEM [Kla03a], and MOKE [Kla01] as well as Lorentz microscopy [Uhl04].
We focus here on complementary magnetic force microscopy in an in-plane
eld and on micromagnetic simulations. We show experimentally by an
MFM study on a typical sample that our rings show well dened equilib-
rium spin congurations and well dened switching properties. In particular,
the spin congurations will be shown later to possess characteristic high fre-
quency absorption properties. Our experimental results are well described
by the presented micromagnetic simulations.
5.1 Micromagnetic Simulations of Spin Congura-
tions and Reversal Mechanisms
In ferromagnetic rings, there are, depending on the width and thickness,
one, two or three stable magnetization congurations and a corresponding
number of switchings. We can roughly classify rings in narrow and wide
rings and begin the discussion with narrow rings: The most common case is
given by the existence of two states and a two state switching behavior. Fig.
5.1 displays a calculated hysteresis curve and details of the magnetization
79
80 Chapter 5. Magnetostatics of Patterned Mesoscopic Rings
-90 -60 -30 0 30 60 90
-1.0
-0.5
0.0
0.5
1.0
y


M
/
M
S

0
H (mT)
(a)
A B
C D
E F
A
B
C
D
E
F
x
DW
H
FIG. 5.1: (a) Hysteresis curve calculated using OOMMF for a 300 nm wide and 20 nm
thick permalloy ring, with 2 m outer diameter. (Only one branch of the presented hys-
teresis curves is computed the other is constructed by mirroring the rst branch.) Right
panels are snap shots during reversal. The arrows indicate the projection of M on the
(x, y) plane, the grey color background encodes M
y
. A - saturation, B - onion state, C -
depinning of the left domain wall, arrow indicates direction of wall movement, D - vortex
state, E - a reverse domain starts to nucleate in the anti-parallel ring arm (upper ring arm
in the present case), F - reverse onion
congurations for a 300 nm wide and 20 nm thick permalloy ring with such a
two-step switching. At saturation [Fig. 5.1 A] all spins are aligned with the
external magnetic eld. At remanence the spins follow the ring perimeter
to minimize the stray eld of the ring, yet still the spins in both ring halves
point in the same direction (B). As a result, there are two domain walls
present. In thin rings, as in the present case, the domain walls are typically
head to head and tail to tail transverse walls. When the rings are very
thick also vortex walls are possible. The state depicted in Fig. 5.1 B is
called the onion state
1
. Upon further reduction of the applied eld, a
domain wall becomes depinned (C), and can propagate around the ring.
The arrow in (C) indicates the direction of propagation. The other domain
1
This gurative name was coined by the Bland group in Cambridge, because a ring in
this state resembles a sliced onion, the stray eld lines entering and leaving the ring at
the domain walls being the roots and the shoots of the onion.
5.1. Micromagnetic Simulations of Spin Congurations and Reversal
Mechanisms 81
wall is more strongly pinned and remains at its position. Both domain
walls annihilate when they meet and the vortex state forms (D). The eld is
further decreased, which causes the spins to bend. At some point a reverse
domain can nucleate in the antiparallel pointing ring half [(E) is close to
this point but does not show it] which spreads until the ring is in the reverse
onion state (F). Let us discuss some details of the reversal process:
(a) If the ring were perfectly symmetric the pinning should be equal
for both domain walls. They should propagate around the ring with the
same turning sense and the propagation should begin at the same external
magnetic eld [Rot01, Kla03b]. According to the above argument no vortex
will exist in a perfectly symmetric ring. But even in the presented calculation
of a nominally symmetrical ring there is an asymmetry in pinning potential,
maybe due to the meshing of the ring. In an experiment the vortex state is
almost always found, except for very narrow and thin rings (e.g. no vortex
was found in [Kla03a] for 4 nm thick and 225 nm wide polycrystalline Co
rings.)
(b) The circulation direction of the vortex state depends on the prop-
agation direction of the domain wall which is less strongly pinned. This
direction will further depend on the microscopic peculiarities of an individ-
ual nanoring, such as edge roughness, oxidation spots and so on, as well
as eld alignment accuracy. This means that in real nanorings the circula-
tion direction is practically arbitrary. In [Kla01], however, evidence is put
forward that the preceding onion state determines the sign of the vortex
circulation that follows the switch: as an example coming from the onion in
positive direction might always be followed by a clockwise vortex in a par-
ticular magnet. We will show evidence in a later chapter that a decentered
inner hole can lead to a control over the circulation direction.
(c) The switching process from onion to vortex state is predicted by the
micromagnetic calculation to be nucleation free and to occur only by domain
wall movement. This process is predicted to be very fast [LD02] but it has
not yet been directly observed. Compelling indirect experimental evidence
exists, however, that corroborates the prediction. Magnetoresistance mea-
surements with several voltage probes around a ring are like a local probe
and allowed the authors in [Kla02] to monitor the switching of a single ring
in six dierent segments. In [Uhl04] it was directly observed by Lorentz
microscopy that the domain walls on the onion state can be guided around
the ring by the application of a suitable rotating in plane magnetic eld.
In very wide rings there may be an additional state, the vortex core. Its
presence leads to a triple switching, as calculations for a 950 nm wide and
20 nm thick permalloy ring with an outer diameter of 2 m show. The ring
82 Chapter 5. Magnetostatics of Patterned Mesoscopic Rings
-40 -20 0 20 40
-1.0
-0.5
0.0
0.5
1.0


M
/
M
S

0
H (mT)
(a)
A B
C D
E F
A
B
C
D
("")
E
F
y
x
H
FIG. 5.2: (a) Calculated hysteresis curve for a 950 nm wide and 20 nm thick permalloy
ring, with 2 m outer diameter. Right panels are snap shots during reversal. The arrows
indicate the projection of M onto the ring plane, the grey color background encodes M
y
.
A - saturation, B - edge domain formation, C - regions with magnetization perpendicular
to the applied eld direction grow and form a state that resembles the Greek symbol ,
D - vortex state with additional vortex core (white arrow), E - the vortex core is pushed
out of the ring in a direction perpendicular to the applied eld, F - reverse onion
comes from the saturated state [Fig. 5.2 (A)] and forms edge domains (B)
instead of distinct domain walls as in the narrow ring of Fig. 5.1. Domains
grow in which the magnetization is rotated perpendicular to the applied eld.
The resulting magnetization pattern is reminiscent of a Greek (C). This
rotates in the presented calculation between (C) and (D) counterclockwise
until a vortex core forms at small reversed external elds (D). In the core
spins point perpendicular to the plane of the ring plane. Spins around this
core region spiral out of the ring plane [See Fig. 5.2 (D)]. Further decrease
of the eld pushes the vortex core gradually to the edge of the ring (E) and
nally the reverse onion is found (F) when the vortex core is annihilated
at the ring border. The reversal outlined in Fig. 5.2 is in agreement with
further reports in the literature [Kla03a]. The reversal mechanism is very
similar to the reversal of a disk, which is intuitively reasonable since the
inner hole represents just a weak perturbation for the magnetization. The
-state is nearly identical to the w-state of disks, only shifted to t in with
5.2. An MFM Investigation 83
the hole.
A vortex core is unfavorable in narrow rings. If the vortex core has to
be compressed into a narrow ring arm the exchange energy contribution
becomes too high because the angles between neighboring spins become too
large. The vortex core only appears in wide enough rings. The rings may
not be too thin either, because in this case the formation of a vortex core
costs too much energy due to the perpendicular stray eld.
It was reported in [Kla03a] that also a single switch transition from onion
directly to reverse onion can appear in 225 nm wide and 4 nm thick Co
rings, i.e. in suciently narrow and thin rings (thin is more important than
narrow). The reason put forward is that the stray eld strength scales with
thickness (less surface pseudo charges in thinner elements). This is supposed
to make it possible for very thin rings to nucleate reverse domains in the ring
arms, while this process is energetically unfavorable for thicker rings which
will respond to the reversed applied eld with the domain wall propagation
discussed above. Additionally the gain in exchange energy of an onion state
compared to the vortex state outweighs its stray eld contribution for very
thin rings. Such ultrathin rings have not been investigated in this thesis.
5.2 An MFM Investigation
We will now experimentally investigate the magnetization congurations and
the switching mechanism of a representative narrow ring sample, which we
will later also use for magnetization dynamics measurements. Two MFM
images together with simulated images of the magnetization of a 300 nm
wide and 33 nm thick permalloy ring in the onion and vortex states are
shown in Fig. 5.3. (Note that the simulation is performed for a thickness of
20 nm.) The switching elds in the calculations do not match those in the
experiment and the calculated images are for illustration. Panels (a) and (c)
are images of the onion state (coming from positive saturation) just before
the switch into the vortex and (b) and (d) are images of the vortex just
after the switch. In the vortex state nearly no detectable MFM contrast is
present. Only a reminiscence of the surface topography can be seen. This
shows that this state is stray eld free. All spins lie along the rim of the
ring. Contrary to this, in the onion state there are poles in line with the
external eld. One clearly sees a white-black white-black contrast pattern
from left to right. The white-black contrast extends a substantial portion
around the ring and only in the side arms where the spins are aligned with
the ring circumference is there no detectable stray eld.
84 Chapter 5. Magnetostatics of Patterned Mesoscopic Rings
a) b)
c) d)
-
H
1
-
H
1
-
H
2
-
H
2
FIG. 5.3: Magnetic force micrographs of a 300 nm wide 33 nm thick permalloy ring
grown directly on a coplanar waveguide: (a) in the onion state just before the switch and
(b) in the vortex state just after the switch. (c) and (d) are equilibrium magnetizations
calculated using OOMMF at the corresponding position of the hysteresis curve. Since the
vortex is stray eld free, it does not show an MFM contrast as seen in (b). The onion
state (a) has poles along the direction of the external elds where the domain walls are
located. Note that |H
1
|<|H
2
|.
MFM was also used to monitor the whole reversal of rings. In Fig. 5.4
four rings which are part of a larger array that is integrated on a coplanar
waveguide are shown. The same sample will also be used for hysteretic high
frequency investigations (Sec. 6.2). The rings are 2.01 m in diameter and
250 nm wide, as measured from the topography (AFM) images recorded
together the MFM images. The external eld started at 74 mT and was
decreased by 2 mT after the acquisition of each image. The positive applied
eld points from left to right. The uppermost left panel is at 2 mT where
all rings are still in the onion state, as can be recognized from the black and
white spots - the poles formed by the domain walls - in line with the external
eld. At 0 mT, the ring marked with the asterisk (*), clearly rotates its
domain walls counterclockwise. The domain wall with white MFM contrast
is pinned at an intermediate position. At 2 mT the left (black) domain
walls of the third and fourth ring (counted from the left) begin to rotate
counterclockwise. At 10 mT the third an fourth ring have switched to
the vortex state while the rst ring stays unchanged. The second ring (*)
switches directly in the reverse onion state, i.e. this particular ring exhibits
5.2. An MFM Investigation 85
+2 mT
+0 mT
-2 mT
-10 mT
-4 mT
-8 mT
-12 mT
-14 mT
-16 mT
-40 mT
-42 mT
-44 mT
*
1 3 4 2 1 3 4 2
*
FIG. 5.4: Magnetization reversal of four permalloy rings monitored by MFM during the
down sweep from +74 mT to 74 mT. The corresponding applied elds are indicated under
each panel. Note the ring marked with an asterisk (*): It rotates counterclockwise directly
to the reverse onion state without the intermediate vortex state. Switching distributions
are also clearly visible: A broad distribution for the onion to vortex transition and a
narrower for the vortex to reverse onion.
in this eld sweep direction a single, not a two step switching. Instead of
annihilation of domain walls and the consequent vortex formation, we nd
that the white domain wall gets depinned from the intermediate pinning site
and propagates around the upper ring half with a counterclockwise turning
sense. Decreasing the applied eld further also the leftmost ring jumps
to the vortex state at 14 mT. Then over a wider eld regime the rings
86 Chapter 5. Magnetostatics of Patterned Mesoscopic Rings
remain in their states until 40 mT are reached, where the three rings in
the vortex state perform a switch to the reverse onion state, now signalled
by the reversed black and white contrast of the domain walls.
It is possible to observe the domain wall rotation of these rings only,
because there are intermediate pinning sites with a pinning potential strong
enough to hold the domain walls in a certain position over a suciently large
eld range. Otherwise the domain walls would just propagate around the
ring and only the resulting states would be visible. In the case of the second
ring (*) the intermediate pinning sites even lead to the absence of the vortex
state. A domain wall propagation has therefore been directly observed as
the reversal mechanism for the onion to vortex transition.
Note also the switching eld distributions. The onion to vortex transi-
tion is similar for rings three and four, the second ring (*) does not switch
to the vortex at all and the rst ring switches six milli-Tesla later. The
vortex to reverse onion state, on the other hand, happens for three rings at
40 mT. This switching eld distribution is consistent with that measured
on a single ring at 4 K by magnetoresistance measurements [Kla04b]. This
shows that the onion to vortex transition, which is a propagation and an-
nihilation process is more prone to the defect structure of a nanoring than
is the reverse domain nucleation which is the mechanism for the vortex to
reverse onion transition.
A further feature of rings concerning the vortex circulation can be ob-
served in the behavior of the second ring (*) when we compare the down-
sweep and the up-sweep in Fig. 5.5.
2
In the down-sweep (Fig. 5.4) the ring
(*) switched directly into the reverse onion via a counterclockwise propaga-
tion of its domain walls, with one wall being pinned in the upper ring half,
whereby the annihilation of both walls was suppressed. In the up-sweep,
however, we nd that the ring (*) exhibits a two step switching process. It
is in the vortex state at +14 mT. Had the propagation of the domain walls
again been counterclockwise one would have expected the same intermediate
pinning site in the upper ring arm to hold the domain wall. The left domain
2
We note that the contrast is much less pronounced than in the down-sweep. The exact
reason is yet unclear but it must have to do with the tip magnetization. At 74mT during
the scanning the contrast weakens considerably (not shown). The tip magnetization does,
however, not ip, as the black white contrast does not reverse! At +58 mT this same
phenomenon occurs. No ip of the magnetization occurs but the strong contrast comes
back again as can be seen in the +80 mT panel. A possible explanation might be that the
tip, which is initially magnetized along the tip axis, perpendicular to the applied eld, is
dragged out of this magnetization direction to a somewhat tilted in plane direction. Upon
reversal of the eld the tip magnetization rotates back in the easy out of plane axis at
+58 mT and the full contrast is recovered.
5.2. An MFM Investigation 87
*
+10 mT
+12 mT
+14 mT
+50 mT
+80 mT
*
*
ring also in vortex
1 3 4 2 1 3 4 2
FIG. 5.5: MFM images of the up-sweep from 74 mT to +74mT of the same four rings as
in Fig. 5.4. The interesting feature is that the second ring (*), which did not switch to the
vortex state in the down-sweep, is now in the vortex at +14 mT together with the other
rings. This demonstrates that in the up-sweep the direction of domain wall propagation
is dierent from the down-sweep as otherwise one would expect the same intermediate
pinning site to hold the domain wall and cause a direct switch to the reverse onion. The
onion direction thus determines the subsequent vortex circulation direction for this ring.
wall would have become depinned at a slightly higher eld and would have
propagated around the lower ring arm. Since the applied eld prohibits
the domain wall from travelling further than the position at the ring front
(three oclock), no annihilation would be possible and consequently no vor-
tex state would be expected, either. The fact that the ring goes through
the vortex clearly shows that this time the right wall propagates clockwise
and through the lower ring arm where no intermediate pinning sites are
located. The domain wall at the ring tail (nine oclock) is pinned more
strongly, which is exactly the same as in the down-sweep. There, also the
ring front domain wall (the white spot in Fig. 5.4) was depinned rst and
the ring tail domain wall (the black one) second. Now both walls meet at
the ring tail and annihilate forming a vortex. This observation conrms the
results and their interpretation put forward in [Kla01]. For a given ring, the
direction of the onion state uniquely determines the circulation of the sub-
sequent vortex. Note, however, that this does not lead to practical control
over the vortex circulation direction. Each ring will behave individually and
the vortex circulation corresponding to a particular onion state will have to
be determined for each given ring.
Chapter 6
Magnetization Dynamics of
Rings
In this chapter we present the experimental data of the dynamics of Ni
80
Fe
20
(permalloy) rings. We will show that the characteristic absorption spectra
of rings can be attributed to the static spin congurations. A direct conse-
quence is that the magnetic eld dependence of FMR absorption is hysteretic
and that it can be controlled by applying a magnetic eld history. The
hysteretic absorption spectra of these rings can only be measured because
we employ a broadband technique enabling measurements at xed external
elds.
The systematic dependence of the absorption spectra on the ring width
implies that there is a mode localization at high enough elds (in the onion
state) in the side arms of the rings. A phenomenological innite wire model
can quantitatively account for the observed resonance frequencies at high
enough elds. Micromagnetic simulations are used to calculate the two-
dimensional mode distribution m(x, y; t) in the rings in the onion and vortex
state. The simulations conrm the mode localization. We will develop
a microscopic picture of the mode localization with the known tools for
rectangular structures. A presentation of the low-eld regime data follows.
Here, we observe the eects of the onion state stray eld as clear frequency
shift between resonance frequencies in the onion and the vortex state. In
one ring array we observe steps in the magnetic eld dispersion. Wide rings
show evidence in the FMR absorption of a triple switching.
88
6.1. Overview of the Experimental Data 89
0 5 10 15 20
- 91 mT

a
b
s
o
r
p
t
i
o
n

(
a
r
b
.

u
n
i
t
s
)
frequency (GHz)
91 mT
0 mT
FIG. 6.1: FMR absorption spectra for an array of 250 nm wide and 26 nm thick rings.
The sweep direction is from 91 mT to 91 mT. Four distinct peaks are visible (marked
by arrows). Just below the mode with highest intensity there are two satellite modes.
At low frequencies and high elds there is an additional mode which vanishes around

0
H = 43 mT. It reappears at around 43 mT. The step width of the external eld was
1.6 mT. The spectrum at zero external eld is marked.
6.1 Overview of the Experimental Data
We will discuss two dierent batches of symmetric ring arrays in this chapter.
The width w of the rings in the arrays is systematically varied from array to
array in the range from 250 nm to 1 m (disks). The outer diameter of the
rings is always kept between 2 m and 2.1 m. The magnetic material is
permalloy with the nominal stoichiometry Ni
80
Fe
20
. The samples belonging
to one batch were deposited in the same deposition step unless explicitly
otherwise stated. All arrays are integrated on coplanar waveguides on GaAs.
Our arrays contain between 135 and 750 rings. The number of rings only
inuences the signal to noise ratio of the absorption spectra. Therefore we
usually investigate arrays with 750 rings.
Magnetic eld dependent high frequency absorption spectra of the nar-
rowest rings (batch #1) with width w = 250 10 nm are shown in Fig. 6.1.
The eld was decreased from +91 mT in 1.6 mT steps to 91 mT. Four
90 Chapter 6. Magnetization Dynamics of Rings
distinct peaks are clearly visible. Starting at the highest eld, the mode
with highest intensity is located at 14.0 GHz. Two weaker satellite modes
are found just below the main mode. At around 7 GHz there is a fourth
mode. It vanishes and reappears at 43 mT and 43 mT, respectively. An
overview over the magnetic eld dispersion of the samples of batch #1 are
shown in Fig. 6.2.
The magnetic eld dispersion of the rings
1
with width between 250 nm
and 400 nm [(a)-(c)] behave similar. There are two intense absorption
modes, labelled A and B, and two satellite modes. In (b) and (c) an addi-
tional high frequency mode is resolved that follows the behavior of mode A
(light grey symbols). The frequency of the modes A decreases as the ring
width increases and that of the lowest mode B increases. A mode splitting
at a negative eld H
1
sw
is visible as well as an abrupt jump at a eld of
H
2
sw
. The elds are indicated only in panel (a). The dispersion curves are
hysteretic. The ring array with w = 600 nm (d) has a similar behavior in
the high eld regime. In the mode splitting regime, clear steps can be seen
in the lower branch. The wide ring array (e) and the disk array (f) are
dierent from the narrower rings in that the mode splitting regime looks
dierent and the satellite modes are not resolved in the high eld regime.
We will address all of these observations in the course of the chapter.
1
For brevity we will not always write the magnetic eld dispersion of the resonance
frequencies of rings.
6.1. Overview of the Experimental Data 91
-75 -50 -25 0 25 50 75
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
20
-75 -50 -25 0 25 50 75
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
20
-75 -50 -25 0 25 50 75
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
20
-75 -50 -25 0 25 50 75
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
20
-75 -50 -25 0 25 50 75
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
20
-75 -50 -25 0 25 50 75
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
20
H
2
sw
H
1
sw
B
A
(b)


f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f

(
G
H
z
)

0
H (mT)
(a) w= 250 nm w= 300 nm


f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f

(
G
H
z
)

0
H (mT)
A
B
w= 400 nm (c)


f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f

(
G
H
z
)

0
H (mT)
A
B
A
B
w= 600 nm
(d)


f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f

(
G
H
z
)

0
H (mT)
w= 800 nm (e)


f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f

(
G
H
z
)

0
H (mT)
A
B
A
B
disks (f)


f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f

(
G
H
z
)

0
H (mT)
FIG. 6.2: Overview of the magnetic eld dispersion of resonance modes of arrays with
dierent ring widths (batch #1). The widths are indicated in each panel. The sweep
direction of the magnetic eld is from positive to negative elds in all panels. The disper-
sion of an unpatterned lm deposited together with the rings is included in each panel as
a line. For a detailed description see text.
92 Chapter 6. Magnetization Dynamics of Rings
6.2 Hysteretic FMR in Rings
In this section we focus on the hysteretic nature of the spectra observed
by broadband FMR. We conne ourselves to the array of rings with w =
250 nm. This particular array was shown by magnetic force microscopy
to have the common two-step switching reversal process (Ch. 5). We will
demonstrate that the domain congurations possess characteristic spectra
and that the transitions are clearly observable. It is shown that due to this
fact the high frequency response can be controlled by the external magnetic
eld, in particular by the magnetic history, which is demonstrated by minor
loops.
The array contained 750 rings, with a measured 2.01 m outer diameter,
and a measured array spacing of 4.4 m (distance between ring centers).
It was chosen so large to exclude coupling eects in order to facilitate the
interpretation of the data. The ring width was measured to be (25010) nm
by atomic force microscopy. The thickness was determined to be (265) nm.
MFM pictures of four rings of this array were shown in Figs. 5.4 and 5.5.
The quasistatic reversal of four rings of the array was monitored in detail
by MFM microscopy. The results were presented in Ch. 5. We could verify
that this ring array exhibited a two-step switching reversal with onion and
vortex states. In order to more accurately determine the switching elds
we use a line scan hysteresis. Here, the MFM tip is scanned along the
line of highest magnetic contrast instead of recording the complete spatial
information. When the rings switch from the onion to the vortex state the
domain walls disappear and we expect a sudden change in contrast at the
switching eld. In Fig. 6.3 (a) a full MFM image of the four rings is shown
at 74 mT. One clearly recognizes the black and white spots due to the
domain walls in line with the applied eld. The line of highest contrast is
indicated as a dashed grey line. Between two line scans the magnetic eld is
increased by 0.3 mT. A hysteresis with full image scan would not be feasible
with such a high resolution. Starting at -74 mT the rings are in the reverse
onion
2
state [see panel (a)]. We observe initially a black-white contrast due
to the domain walls, which remains visible up to +12 mT. A sudden jump
occurs into a state with very low magnetic contrast, which is indicative of the
vortex state. The rings remain in the low contrast state until they suddenly
2
The names onion and reverse onion depend on the starting eld of the magnetic eld
sweep. One always starts with the onion state and goes to the reverse onion state. In this
discussion we will invariably and irrespective of the starting eld sign call the state of rings
pointing in the direction of the positive eld onion, and rings pointing in the direction of
the negative eld reverse onion to avoid the necessity of specifying the starting eld sign.
6.2. Hysteretic FMR in Rings 93
0 4 8 12 16 20
-60
-40
-20
0
20
40
60
-1 0 1
(f)
(d)
(e)

0
H

(
m
T
)
position (m)
-H
(a)
(b)
(c)
H

(
a
r
b
.

u
n
i
t
s
)


M/M
S
simulated
FIG. 6.3: (a) An MFM image of four rings of the array of 250 nm wide rings at 74 mT.
(b) The cantilever is scanned along the line of highest contrast [dashed line in (a)]. Between
each line scan the external eld is increased by 0.3 mT, the starting eld is 74 mT. The
switching can be clearly seen as the black white contrast abruptly vanishes for each ring at
12 mT and reappears at 40 mT [cf. also white arrows in (b)]. (c) Schematic hysteresis
curve. In the MFM scan we move along the black branch. (d), (e) and (f) are diagrams
of the onion, the vortex, and the reverse onion, respectively.
switch back to a state with white-black contrast. This can be explained
by the rings switching to the onion state. A calculated hysteresis has been
included in Fig. 6.3 (c) to illustrate the behavior of the rings. In the line scan
we move along the black branch of the hysteresis. In the panels (d), (e), and
(f) we show sketches of the relevant magnetization congurations, namely
the onion, the vortex and the reverse onion state, respectively. The line scan
hysteresis shows once again the two-step switching of this ring array. The
switching eld distribution of the reverse onion to vortex transition larger
than for the vortex to onion transition.
For a detailed discussion of the dispersion curves, we show in Fig. 6.4
(a) the raw data as a grey scale plot in which the strength of the absorption
is encoded by a the grey scale and in (b) the extracted dispersion curves
for the down-sweep (empty circles) and the up-sweep (lled circles). For
the time being, the discussion will be conned to the main mode labelled A
and only the part between 7.5 and 16 GHz of the spectrum are shown (not
the lowest mode). The dispersion of a plain permalloy lm deposited in the
same deposition step as the ring array is shown as a black line in (b). In (c)
94 Chapter 6. Magnetization Dynamics of Rings
-75 -50 -25 0 25 50 75
8
10
12
14
16
H
2
sw
f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f

(
G
H
z
)

0
H (mT)

0
H (mT)
f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f

(
G
H
z
)
H
1
sw
(b)
-75 -50 -25 0 25 50 75


film 8
10
12
14
16
86 mT

absorption
(arb. units)

(c)
A
(a)
FIG. 6.4: (a) Grey scale plot of the dispersion of the 250 nm wide ring array recorded
during the up-sweep. Note the splitting of the main mode A at point H
1
sw
and the
extinction of the lower branch with a corresponding intensity doubling at point H
2
sw
. (b)
Dispersion of the same sample for the up-sweep (lled circles) and down-sweep (empty
circles). The hysteretic behavior is clearly seen in the low eld regime. (c) A spectrum
recorded at 86 mT. Note that all three panels start at 7.5 GHz, which means that the
lowest mode is not shown.
a spectrum recorded at 86 mT is shown.
In the grey scale plot we follow the same magnetic sweep as in the MFM
line-scan hysteresis in Fig. 6.3. Mode A moves to lower frequency as the
applied eld is increased towards positive values. The curvature of mode A
and of the satellites is much less pronounced than that of the plain permalloy
lm shown as a solid line in (b). At zero applied eld the resonance frequency
is 9.7 GHz. When the eld is further increased, the sign of the slope of
mode A remains unchanged, i.e. the dispersion becomes negative. This is
remarkable since usually if the magnitude of the applied eld increases also
that of the internal eld H
int
increases and thus the resonance frequency.
At a eld of 12 mT, marked by H
1
sw
in panel (a) of Fig. 6.4, mode A splits
in two modes. It is a splitting not just the appearance of an additional
mode because at the onset of the second branch the absorbed intensity
weakens considerably. It is approximately halved [see intensity in panel (a)].
The splitting of the two branches increases with rising external eld until at
point H
2
sw
the branch with negative dispersion disappears. At the same time
the intensity of the higher branch is doubled [see point H
2
sw
in (a)]. From
that point onwards, that is for [H
ext
[> 40 mT, mode A and the satellites
are symmetric with respect to the negative eld values.
The natural assumption is that at point H
1
sw
the rings switch from the
reverse onion to the vortex state and at point H
2
sw
back to the onion state.
First the jumps H
1
sw
and H
2
sw
occur at the same elds for the up and down
6.2. Hysteretic FMR in Rings 95
sweep, second the transition is abrupt, like in switching events, and third
the most compelling evidence of course is that the eld values of point H
1
sw
and H
2
sw
coincide with switching elds of the reverse onion to vortex and
vortex to onion transition in the MFM line scan hysteresis shown in Fig. 6.3.
Mode Splitting
The reason of the mode splitting and the negative dispersion can be un-
derstood by considering the properties of a ring in a vortex state, as is
schematically shown in Fig. 6.5 (b). In order to excite dynamics there must
be a torque, which in the vortex state is only the case in the rings side
arms. In the ring front and ring tail the magnetization is collinear with
h
hf
. The dynamical excitation will therefore be concentrated in the side
arms in the vortex state as indicated in Fig. 6.5 (b). Imagine the ring for a
moment to be approximated by a series of polygons with increasing number
of corners. When we start with something like a picture frame rather than
a curved object (number of corners n = 4), in the vortex we have only two
longitudinally magnetized wires one of which points in the direction of the
applied eld the other opposite to the eld. Suppose that the wires are long
enough for edge eects to be negligible and assume a uniform precession in
these wires. We can then phenomenologically model the wire simply as a
sample with uniaxial shape anisotropy. The free energy density will just be
that for a uniaxial crystalline anisotropy as far as the mathematical form
is concerned and we can use (2.53) with a suitable free energy density for
uniaxial easy axis the wire axis along the x direction:
F =
0
MH
ext
[cos(
H
) sin sin
H
+ cos cos
H
]
K
A
cos
2
sin
2
+

0
M
2
2
cos
2
(6.1)
where we have omitted the double subscript for the external eld:
H
ext

H
and so on. With this free energy density and the applied eld H
ext
lying in the plane of the sample,
H
= /2, the dispersion formula Eq. 2.53
becomes
_

r

0
_
2
=
_
H
ext
cos(
0

H
) +H
A
cos
2

0
+M
_

(H
ext
cos(
0

H
) +H
A
cos(2
0
)) (6.2)
with H
A
= 2K
A
/
0
M the eective uniaxial anisotropy eld and
0
the
equilibrium azimuthal angle of the magnetization.
0
is straight forwardly
96 Chapter 6. Magnetization Dynamics of Rings
0.00 0.50 1.00 1.50 2.00
-0.2
-0.1
0.0
0.1
side arm
H
ext
,H
A
H
ext
<H
A


e
n
e
r
g
y

d
e
n
s
i
t
y

F

(
J
/
m
3
)
angle /
H
ext
=H
A

M
(a) (b)
side arm
front tail
ext
FIG. 6.5: (a) Energy landscape for a wire with eective uniaxial anisotropy eld H
A
=
2K
A
/
0
M as a function of the angle between M and the external eld and uniaxial
wire axis (
H
= 0). The black line is for
0
H = 20 mT,
0
H
A
is chosen to be 100 mT
to match that of the sample. There is a local minimum at for H < H
A
. (b) Schematic
diagram of the side arms in a ring. They are treated like innite wires for the analysis of
the mode splitting. (See text)
found from
F

0
,
0
=
0
MH
ext
sin(
0

H
) +K
A
sin(2
0
)
!
= 0. (6.3)
It is easy to show that there are two equilibrium angles if the eld points
along the wire,
p
0
= 0 and
a
0
= if H
A
> H
ext
.
3
The energy landscape
for this case is schematically shown in Fig. 6.5 and it is clear, that is a
local minimum as long as H
A
> H
ext
. In the vortex state the ring arm that
points in the opposite eld direction is stabilized by the whole magnetiza-
tion conguration of the vortex against the external eld. Therefore both
solutions have to be taken into account. The rst solution,
p
0
= 0, inserted
in Eq. 6.2 yields the common:
f
p
2
=
_

0
2
_
2
(H
ext
+H
A
)(H
ext
+H
A
+M) (6.4)
The second solution,
a
0
= inserted in Eq. 6.2 leads to
f
a
2
=
_

0
2
_
2
(H
A
H
ext
)(H
A
H
ext
+M) (6.5)
These two equations give a quantitative description for the observed
splitting of mode A in two branches as will be shown in Fig. 6.7. One arm
3
The condition is found by verifying that
a
0
= is indeed a minimum, i.e.

2
F/
2
|

a
0
=
0
MH
ext
+ 2K
A
!
> 0 H
A
> H
ext
.
6.2. Hysteretic FMR in Rings 97
is like a longitudinally magnetized wire with the eld parallel to the mag-
netization, its dispersion given by f
p
. The other arm is like a longitudinally
magnetized wire with the external eld antiparallel to the magnetization.
The dispersion in this case is given by f
a
. With increasing eld, f
p
in-
creases, but this does not hold true for f
a
. We observe a negative dispersion
because the internal eld is given by H
int
= H
A
H
ext
, whence it follows
that increasing the external eld decreases the internal eld and with it the
resonance frequency. It is obvious that the resonance frequency at zero ex-
ternal eld is determined purely by the anisotropy eld and the saturation
magnetization. The value of f(H
ext
= 0) = 9.7 GHz is quite high and leads,
to an eective anisotropy eld of
0
H
A
= 100 mT. This high value is caused
by the small width of only 250 nm of the ring. This consideration justies
our analysis as we are always in the regime H
A
> H
ext
. If the sample were
indeed a longitudinally magnetized wire with a width of 250 nm, the an-
tiparallel conguration would be stable up to
0
H
A
= 100 mT. It is clear
that the analogy of the wire is carried too far if one would like to explain
the switching at 40 mT which is determined by the energetics of the ring
shape of the sample. It holds true that f
p
f
a
, describing the fact that the
branches cross only at H
ext
= 0.
Minor Loops and Control of the High Frequency Response
To substantiate our picture of mode splitting in FMR due to the irreversible
switching in the vortex state we measured the dynamic response starting
from dierent magnetic histories. The idea of the experiment is captured
schematically in Fig. 6.6 (c), where a calculated hysteresis with two step
switching is shown. We apply two dierent eld sequences. The rst is pos-
itive saturation (H
1
) followed by a negative eld (H
2
) just below the vortex-
to reverse-onion transition and sweeping back up. In this case the rings
follow the lower branch of the dispersion (path marked by black arrows).
The second eld sequence is again positive saturation (H

1
= H
1
) but now
followed by a eld (H

2
) just above the vortex- to reverse-onion-transition
and sweeping back up. Here, the rings remain in the intermediate vortex
state and should follow the path indicated by the grey double headed arrow
in (c). A dierence in the absorption spectrum establishes whether a tran-
sition is irreversible. Note that this experiment is possible only due to the
broadband nature of the spectrometer.
In Fig. 6.6 (a) the eld sequence
+90 mT (
0
H
1
) 41 mT (
0
H
2
) H
meas
98 Chapter 6. Magnetization Dynamics of Rings
-75 -50 -25 0 25 50 75
8
10
12
14
-75 -50 -25 0 25 50 75
8
10
12
14
calc.
(c)

0
H (mT)
(a)
f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f

(
G
H
z
)

0
H (mT)
reversible
(b)
H
2
H
1
'
H
2
'
H
2
H
1



f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f


(
G
H
z
)
H
1
=H
1
'
H
2
'

M
/
M
s


H (arb. units)
FIG. 6.6: (a) Minor Loop. Before recording each of the data points (empty circles) a eld
sequence of +90 mT (
0
H
1
) and then 41 mT (
0
H
2
) was applied. Grey circles represent
the up-sweep of Fig. 6.4 (b). Panel (b) of this gure: The sequence before recording is now
+90 mT (
0
H

1
) and 35 mT (
0
H

2
). In this case the data does not follow the up-sweep
as in (a). A symmetric X forms. Between the dashed vertical lines the eld can be swept
reversibly. Panel (c) shows a calculated hysteresis curve. The magnetic eld on the x axis
is in arbitrary units since the calculated switching elds do not necessarily match those of
the experiment.
is applied. Field H
2
is just below the point H
2
sw
where the lower branch
of the split mode A vanishes and the upper branch doubles its intensity
[compare to Fig. 6.4 (a)]. One can see that the measured dispersion of the
sample prepared with this eld sequence is just the same as the dispersion of
the same sample coming from negative saturation, represented by the grey
symbols. This shows that the magnetic state of the rings at 41 mT is
reversibly reachable from negative saturation or, in other words, that this is
the reverse onion state.
In the case of Fig. 6.6 (b), the second eld sequence
+90 mT (
0
H

1
) 35 mT (
0
H

2
) H
meas
is applied. One sees the two peaks with f
a
and f
p
, which we have ascribed
to the vortex state (from the parallel and antiparallel arm). The dispersion
is now dierent from the up-sweep (grey symbols) which lacks a resonance
peak with negative dispersion at H < 0. The dispersion in Fig. 6.6 (b) forms
6.2. Hysteretic FMR in Rings 99
-90 -60 -30 0 30 60 90
6
9
12
15
-40 -20 0 20 40
6
9
12
(b)


f
r
e
s

(
G
H
z
)

0
H (mT)
(a)
f
p

f
r
e
s

(
G
H
z
)

0
H (mT)
f
a
FIG. 6.7: (a) Fit to the whole eld range with the wire model, black lines in the onion
state and grey lines in the vortex state. (b) Vortex state: f
p
is tted according to Eq. 6.4
and f
a
after Eq. 6.5. Note that the wire model describes mode A not only in the vortex
state.
a symmetric X around H
ext
= 0. The existence of the two branches and the
symmetry show clearly that the rings are indeed in the vortex state, since
the vortex state is invariant under in-plane rotation of the magnetic eld
(cylinder symmetry). The same experiment was performed at point H
1
sw
of
Fig. 6.4, the onset of the splitting of mode A, and it turns out that the high
frequency response is irreversible upon crossing this point, which makes it
clear that this is the onion to vortex transition.
Summarizing, the minor loops show that the transition at 12 mT (H
1
sw
)
is the onion to vortex transition and the transition at 40 mT (H
2
sw
) is the
vortex to reverse onion transition. It could be demonstrated that the high
frequency response can be controlled by choosing a magnetization congu-
ration with the aid of an external eld.
High eld regime
Let us check if the wire model can also be applied to the onion state regime.
Such a model would explain the substantially raised frequency compared
with the permalloy lm (factor of 1.4 at 90 mT) and the much weaker
curvature of this mode. We show in Fig. 6.7 a t to mode A using the
set of parameters
0
H
A
= 100 mT, = 176 GHz/T (free electron value
g = 2.0023) and
0
M = 1.12T. The saturation magnetization is close to
that of the lm deposited together with the sample (1.3 T). The discrepancy
might be due to the patterning process or the simplifying assumptions used
here.
100 Chapter 6. Magnetization Dynamics of Rings
The black parts are tted to the Kittel formula Eq. 6.4, the lower branch
in the vortex state to f
a
from Eq. 6.5, and the upper branch in the vortex
state to f
p
from Eq. 6.4. In (b) f
a
and f
p
are shown as grey lines. One should
treat the t with care considering the substantial simplication it is based
on, but since the wire model describes mode A over the whole magnetic
eld range not only in the vortex state very well, this t implies that
mode A is mainly located in the side arms of the ring in both states, onion
and vortex. Further experimental data must be presented to develop an
understanding for this, which will be done in the following section.
6.3 Dipolar Mode Localization in the High Field
Regime
The closing conjecture on the mode localization will be further scrutinized
leading to a qualitative understanding of the mode localization. In this
chapter the focus will again be on the high eld regime, or in other words,
rings in the onion state. The low eld regime will be studied later.
6.3.1 Dependence of the Absorption Spectrum on the Ring
Width
Further experimental data is needed for the understanding of the mode spec-
trum. The width of the rings mainly determines their static magnetization
and it is also the key parameter to varying the eective anisotropy eld if the
wire model turns out to be meaningful. Therefore we varied the ring width
systematically from sample to sample. The ring widths were determined
with AFM measurements. A disk array with disks of 2.1 m diameter and
samples with 930 nm, 830 nm, 480 and 300 nm are discussed here. These
arrays are from batch #2.
Clearly, a systematic development can be observed in Fig. 6.8 (a)-(e),
where the absorption spectra of rings with dierent widths at an external
eld of 90 mT are displayed. The disk array (a) shows one clear main
mode (A) and a subtle satellite mode at 10.9 GHz. This weak mode can
be clearly distinguished from spurious ripple as it shifts systematically with
the external eld (not shown). The main resonance is about 300 MHz lower
than that of a lm deposited together with batch #2. Introducing a small
115 nm inner hole in the disk (b) leads to a further red-shift (30 MHz) of
the main mode B compared to the disk. Two satellites are now present,
one labelled A. This new mode is very broad and resembles rather a band
6.3. Dipolar Mode Localization in the High Field Regime 101
0 5 10 15 20
B


a
b
s
o
r
p
t
i
o
n

(
a
r
b
.

u
n
i
t
s
)
frequency f (GHz)
A
B
(e) w=300 nm
(d) w=480 nm


A
B (c) w=830 nm


A
B


A
(b) w=930 nm


(a) Disk 2 m B
FIG. 6.8: Overview of the systematic development of the absorption spectra as a function
of the ring width (batch #2). All spectra are for an external eld of 90 mT. Lorentz ts
highlight the position of resonance frequencies. A disk has a clear main mode B, which lies
just a little lower than the lm resonance, and a smaller satellite at 10.9 GHz. Introducing
a 115 nm hole (w = 930 nm) leads to two stronger satellites at higher frequencies and
a red-shift of the main mode B. The satellites merge to a broad band-like peak labelled
A and the red shift of B again increases for an 830 nm wide ring. In the w = 480 nm
ring the oscillator strength of mode A and B are nearly equal, B again red-shifted and A
blue-shifted. The oscillator strength reverses for the smallest ring width w = 300 nm and
the frequency splitting is highest.
102 Chapter 6. Magnetization Dynamics of Rings
of modes, as its line shape is not Lorentzian and changes somewhat as a
function of H
ext
. By narrowing the ring width to 830 nm (c), the red-shift
of mode B continues and the mode labelled A grows stronger and shifts to
higher frequency. The trend continues for the 480 nm (d) and 300 nm (e)
wide rings: The frequency dierence of modes A and B grows larger with
decreasing ring width. The absorption strength shifts from mode B to A.
For the 480 nm wide rings they are equal and for the 300 nm wide rings even
reversed compared to the wide rings and the disk. Both modes seem again
to be composed of more than one line for the 480 nm ring, judging from the
shoulders at the low frequency sides. To give a systematic presentation the
resonances of these two main modes are plotted in Fig. 6.9 for dierent eld
values as lled squares. The magnetic elds are indicated in each panel.
Note that the satellites are omitted for clarity.
In Fig. 6.9 the splitting of modes A and B seems to be symmetric about
the resonance frequency of a reference permalloy lm which was deposited
in the same deposition step as the ring and disk arrays. Qualitatively the
1/w-like behavior of mode A as function of ring width is again that of a wire.
The wire model is apparently expandable to the onion state if one assumes
that also in this state mode A is localized in the side arms of the rings.
We think of rings again as picture frames, with one pair of longitudinally
magnetized wires and the other pair transversely magnetized (Fig. 6.10).
With decreasing width the shape anisotropy of the longitudinally magnetized
wires increases: When the spins in these regions of the ring tip out of the
ring border they create a dynamical demagnetization eld which increases
the precession frequency. It jumps immediately to mind that the behavior
of mode B is consistent with this picture, if it is assumed to be that mode of
the part of the rings that are like transversely magnetized wires. In this case
the internal eld in the wires (i.e. ring front and tail) is decreased due to
the stray eld of the static magnetization, H
int
= H
ext
N
x
M
s
. The more
narrow the wire, the smaller the internal eld and the smaller the resonance
frequency. This consideration entails the conclusion that the main modes
are localized in dierent segments of the rings. Mode A in the side arms
and the mode B in the ring tails and ring front.
Let us calculate the resonance frequency of a transversely and longitu-
dinally magnetized wire assuming a uniform precession and compare this to
the width dependent resonance frequencies of the ring arrays. As before,
let the external eld be applied in the x direction and let the rings lie in
the (x, y) plane. The frequency for the uniform precession is given by the
6.3. Dipolar Mode Localization in the High Field Regime 103
400 600 800 1000 1200
2
4
6
8
10
12
400 600 800 1000 1200
4
6
8
10
12
14
400 600 800 1000 1200
2
4
6
8
10
400 600 800 1000 1200
4
6
8
10
12


f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

(
G
H
z
)
width (nm)
50 mT
(c)
A
B


f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

(
G
H
z
)
width (nm)
89.5 mT
(a)
B
A


f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

(
G
H
z
)
width (nm)
20 mT
(d)
A
B


f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

(
G
H
z
)
width (nm)
70 mT
(b)
A
B
FIG. 6.9: Resonance frequencies at four dierent eld values as a function of ring width
(batch #2). The dashed horizontal lines are the resonance frequency of the reference
permalloy lm at the magnetic eld indicated. The grey lines are calculated without t
parameter after Eq. 6.9 for mode A and Eq. 6.10 for mode B with the values for the
thickness and width from AFM measurements and the saturation magnetization of the
reference permalloy lm (1.36 T). The wire model describes mode A well for all elds.
There is a good agreement with mode B for higher elds, for lower eld values the trend
is captured by the model.
formula (2.43)
f
r
=
[[
0
2
_
(H
ext
+ (N
y
N
x
)M)(H
ext
+ (N
z
N
x
)M). (6.6)
repeated here for convenience. To apply this formula we need to calculate
the demagnetizing factors for a thin transversely magnetized wire. Let the
wire lie along the y direction. Since we are not dealing with an ellipsoidal
body the demagnetizing factor will be inherently position dependent. The
result is given by [Jos65]
104 Chapter 6. Magnetization Dynamics of Rings
(a)
A B
(b)
x
y
H
FIG. 6.10: Wire model for the main modes of rings. Thick black arrows indicate the
direction of the local magnetization. (a) Mode A described as longitudinally magnetized
wires. (b) Mode B described as transversely magnetized wires.
N
x
(x) =
1

_
arctan
_
t
2x +w
_
arctan
_
t
2x w
__
. (6.7)
A detailed derivation can be found in Appendix A. We will as a further
approximation also neglect the position dependence and take the demag-
netizing eld in the middle of the wire N
x
(x = 0). Furthermore since the
aspect ratio of the ring segments t/w is much less than one, the expression
can be expanded:
N
x
(x = 0) =
1

_
arctan
_
t
w
_
arctan
_

t
w
__
=
1

_
arctan(0) +
1
1 + (t/w)
2

t/w=0
t
w
_

_
arctan(0)
1
1 + (t/w)
2

t/w=0
t
w
_
+O
_
t
w
_
2
=
2t
w
. (6.8)
The demagnetizing factors obey the sum rule N
x
+N
y
+N
z
= 1. There-
fore, for the transversely magnetized segments (ring front and tail), N
x
=
2t/w and N
z
= 1 N
x
, while for the ring side arms (longitudinally mag-
netized wires) N
y
= 2t/w and N
z
= 1 N
y
. With this the precession
frequencies for the two segment types of the ring are given by:
f
A
=

0
2

_
H
ext
+
2t
w
M
__
H
ext
+
_
1
2t
w
_
M
_
(6.9)
f
B
=

0
2

_
H
ext

2t
w
M
__
H
ext
+
_
1
4t
w
_
M
_
. (6.10)
6.3. Dipolar Mode Localization in the High Field Regime 105
The grey lines in Fig. 6.9 (a) to (d) have been calculated with Eqs. 6.9
for mode A and 6.10 for mode B. The parameters that enter the equation,
thickness t = 14.5 nm, width w, and saturation magnetization
0
M =
1360 mT were all measured for batch #2 so that there are no free parameters.
The description of the data by this model is extremely good at high elds
for both modes, A and B. For mode A the agreement remains very good for
all elds with the exception of the 300 nm wide rings. The discrepancy for
mode A at 300 nm will be lifted later by introducing a localization length in
the x direction. For mode B at low elds (
0
H
ext
20 mT) the description
only captures the trend of the data point but no quantitative agreement is
achieved.
It is, however, clear that one may not describe the ring front and tail in
a low eld regime as transversely magnetized innite wires. When the eld
is lowered the rings form pronounced head to head and tail to tail domain
walls in order to reduce the demagnetizing eld. This domain wall formation
is not taken into account in the wire model and one inevitably overestimates
the demagnetizing factor, which leads to an underestimation of the internal
eld and therefore the calculated resonance frequencies lie too low. This
is exactly what is observed in Fig. 6.9 (d). The picture of mode B as a
localized hard-axis wire like mode will need further modication as will be
shown by measurements of its angular dependence (see Sec. 6.3.2).
Summarizing, the splitting of two main modes in the ring spectra as
a function of the ring width was demonstrated. The wire model that had
already been invoked for the description of the modes in the vortex state is
also very successful at describing quantitatively without tting parameters
the ring width dependence of the main observed modes over a wide eld
range. The good agreement between the model and the experiment implies
that the main modes are localized in dierent ring segments: The high fre-
quency mode (A) is located in the side arms, and the low frequency mode
(B) is located in the ring front and ring tail. It is, however, also clear that a
model based on such greatly simplifying assumptions cannot be used to ob-
tain a microscopic understanding of these phenomena, although it describes
them very well. We will try to rene our microscopic understanding in the
following but rst we will put forward further experimental data that are
consistent with the localization picture developed so far.
6.3.2 Angular Dependence of the Main Resonance Modes
We investigated the angular dependence of the resonance modes of the array
with 250 nm wide rings (batch #1). The magnetic eld is rotated in 3

steps
106 Chapter 6. Magnetization Dynamics of Rings
60 120 180 240 300 360
8
9
10
11
4
6
8
10
12
14


in-plane angle ()
f
p
f
a

f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f

(
G
H
z
)

f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f

(
G
H
z
)

4
6
8
10
12
14
vortex -34.5 mT
(b)


f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f

(
G
H
z
)
(a)
onion 82.6 mT
0 60 120 180 240 300 360
8
9
10
11
(d)


in-plane angle ()
f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f

(
G
H
z
)
(c)
h
hf
h
hf
FIG. 6.11: (a) Grey scale plot of the angular dependence of the 250 nm rings in the
onion state at a xed magnetic eld of |
0
H|= 82.6 mT. The rings are saturated along
the waveguide at
0
H
sat
= 91 mT, the eld is lowered to H and then slowly rotated
through an in-plane angle at xed magnitude |H| prior to recording a spectrum. (b)
The extracted dispersion. Note the uniaxial character of the main resonance modes (180

symmetry). Around 90

and 270

is the no-signal-zone, where the signal is too weak to


be detected because the torque is only very weak and the waveguide sensitivity vanishes.
The light grey line is a calculation explained in the text. (c) is a grey scale of the angular
dependence of the ring array in the vortex state at 34.5 mT, (d) the extracted dispersion.
Two modes with 360

symmetry and out-of-phase character are seen. The light grey and
black lines are calculated as explained in the text. The same parameters as in Fig. 6.7
were used. Note that there are no no-signal-zones in the vortex state. The sketches on
the right show the measurement geometry.
6.3. Dipolar Mode Localization in the High Field Regime 107
through 360

at a xed external eld. The rings are prepared either in the


onion state at 82.6 mT or in the vortex state at 34.5 mT.
Fig. 6.11 (a) and (b) show the results for the onion state. All four modes
that were found in the bias eld sweeps presented in Sec. 6.2 display the
same uniaxial angular dependence on the in-plane eld angle. Starting at
0

, i.e. the eld is aligned with the waveguide, the resonance frequencies of
all four modes are highest. They decrease with increasing angle. Around 90

and 270

no signal can be detected. Here, the spins in the rings point nearly
perpendicular to the ring side arms, the eect being that (i) the torque
on them is very weak, since they are nearly parallel to the excitation eld
h
hf
, and (ii) the dynamic components of the ring magnetization is mainly
in the (x, z) plane while the sensitivity of the waveguide is mainly in the
y direction. This is the reason why the dierence detection scheme works.
Between 90

and 270

the modes go again through a maximum at 180

.
After 270

the resonance frequencies of all modes increase to end at the


starting point when the full cycle is completed at 360

.
Panels (c) and (d) of Fig. 6.11 display the results when the rings are
prepared in the vortex state. The result is strikingly dierent. Two modes
are observed which we recognize from the zero angle eld sweeps (Sec. 6.2).
But the symmetry of those modes is not uniaxial, i.e. 180

, but one needs a


full 360

turn to reach the starting situation. Especially the vortex with its
cylindrical symmetry could have been assumed to possess no azimuthal angle
dependence at all, but the external magnetic eld and the excitation of our
setup introduces a symmetry breaking: The excitation will be concentrated
in the side arms of the rings. No matter how the external eld is rotated,
in the ring front and ring tail the spins point in the same direction as h
hf
,
which means they represent nodes. This brings us back to the wire model
which has a built-in 360

symmetry if the magnetization stays xed with


respect to one axis and the external eld rotates. This is shown in Fig. 6.5
of Sec. 6.2. As long as H
A
> H
ext
the magnetization M can point in the
positive and negative x direction, no matter what applied eld H
ext
. But
both ring arms are not energetically degenerate because the projection of the
eld on the magnetization direction is dierent. This means that they also
have dierent resonance frequencies. We again assume the ring side arms
to be wires. At = 0 one side arm points in the direction of the external
eld and therefore has a high resonance frequency f
p
, the other one in the
opposite direction and has a lower resonance frequency f
a
. The magnitude
of the rotating eld is assumed too weak to tilt the magnetization in both
side arms out of the wire axis, otherwise the vortex would not be stable. (We
neglect the polarization of the vortex state.) This means that the projection
108 Chapter 6. Magnetization Dynamics of Rings
of H
ext
on the direction of the wire axis determines the internal eld. The
frequency can be calculated with (6.2), which is repeated here:
_

r

0
_
2
=
_
H
ext
cos(
0

H
) +H
A
cos
2

0
+M
_

(H
ext
cos(
0

H
) +H
A
cos(2
0
)) . (6.11)
For the mode of the side arm starting in parallel conguration
p
= 0, for
the other one we set
a
= . The other values are the same as always
used for this sample,
0
M
S
= 1120 mT and
0
H
A
= 100 mT (batch #1).
The result is shown in Fig. 6.11 (d) as grey line for f
a
and black line for
f
p
. The calculation matches the experimental data well without tting. In
particular, the wire model explains the two out of phase modes with 360

symmetry.
What would the wire model predict for the onion state? In this magne-
tization state the experimental data were interpreted to show a localization
of the main mode A in the side arms and main mode B in the ring front and
ring tail. This means we are again only interested in the projection of the
applied eld on the corresponding ring arms.
Assume that in the onion state the spins lie along the border of the ring
except for the parts in which the domain walls sit. When the applied eld
is rotated it will drag the domain walls with it as is schematically shown
in Fig. 6.12 (a)-(d). Due to the localization mode A is concentrated in
the side arms. In the diagram the side arm segments in which mode A is
located are highlighted by the transparent parts. As long as
H
< 90

the
magnetization points in its initial direction in both side arms [
0
= 0 or in
the positive x direction in the diagram of Fig. 6.12(a)]. This magnetization
direction is indicated by black arrows. At 90

there is the above mentioned


no-signal-zone (b). When the angle becomes larger than 90

the domain
wall is rotated through this position but now the magnetization in this ring
arm is at an angle

0
= 180

with its initial position. In other words it


points in the negative x direction in the diagram of Fig. 6.12(c). This stays
unchanged up to angles larger than 270

. After this second no-signal-zone,


the projection of the applied eld on the wire-axis and the spins point in
the initial direction, i.e. positive x direction or
0
= 0 [6.12(d)].
In this idealized picture the magnetization of the ring side arms is bistable.
For
H
< 90

and
H
> 270

it points in the positive direction, for


90

<
H
< 270

in the negative direction. For the resonance frequency


calculation in the framework of the wire model this means that the angles
have to be inserted segmentwise in the formulae that were also used for
6.3. Dipolar Mode Localization in the High Field Regime 109
(a) < 90 j (b) no signal (c) 90< <270 j
x
y
(d) 270< <360 j
FIG. 6.12: Sketch of the onion state when rotated. The parts of the ring in which mode A
is localized is schematically shown as illuminated area. The rest of the ring is shadowed.
(a) is for the applied eld angle less than 90

, (b) for exactly 90

(no signal), and (c) for


the applied eld angle between 90

and 270

. The magnetization in the ring side arms


which are assumed to behave like wires points in dierent directions in the depicted angle
regimes and illustrates the assumption of a bistable switching behavior.
the vortex calculation. The result assuming the wire model with bistable
magnetization and inserting the same saturation magnetization and eec-
tive anisotropy eld as before is shown as light grey line in Fig. 6.11 (b).
The symmetry is correctly reproduced as well as the shape of the resonance
curve. The calculated curve is steeper between the maxima and minima than
the experimental values. The dierence cannot be explained at this point.
It can, however, be ruled out that the discrepancy is caused by neglecting
the fact that the magnetization can rotate slightly out of the (ctitious) wire
direction. If one allowed the magnetization in a wire to rotate out of the
wire with the external eld the roll o of the curves is even steeper. The
wire model can describe the data quantitatively well.
Again the physical picture of the ring modes as wire modes is extremely
useful. But at this point one of its limitations becomes obvious. Mode
B was assumed to be also localized but in the ring heads and tails. This
localization was assumed to be at high enough elds so that no signicant
domain wall formation is present. From the ring width dependence it was
assumed to be like a hard-axis magnetized wire. The angular dependence
at 82.6 mT is not fully consistent with this picture because mode B shows
the same angular dependence as mode A.
Assume a saturated ring and look only at the ring heads and tails. Ro-
tating the external eld should also rotate the magnetization which lies
perpendicular to the ring borders at = 0

. This must decrease the demag-


netizing eld at the head and tail positions and increase the internal eld.
The situation is analogous to a wire initially transversely magnetized. Then
the magnetization is rotated to lie along the wire axis. We would therefore
110 Chapter 6. Magnetization Dynamics of Rings
expect the frequency of mode B to rise as the external eld is rotated. The
maxima should be at 90

and 270

. We see, however, maximum resonance


frequencies of mode B at 0

and 180

. This leads to the conclusion that the


mode cannot be as strongly localized as mode A. Due to the low frequency
of mode B its amplitude must mainly be located in the regions with low in-
ternal eld, i.e. the ring heads and tails, but it must also extend further into
the ring to account for the symmetry properties. Micromagnetic simulation
will be shown that conrm this thought.
6.3.3 Micromagnetic Simulations of Ring Dynamics
In order to clarify the mode spectrum of the narrow rings micromagnetic
simulations with the software OOMMF were performed.
For this calculation one ring is divided into a two dimensional mesh
of 500 500 1 cells of 4 nm side lengths. The static equilibrium state
(at zero temperature) is found by solving the LLG for each cell with a
high damping parameter ( = 0.5) to accelerate computation. Afterwards
an in-plane eld pulse with a FWHM of 2 ps is applied perpendicular to
the static external eld. The pulse shape has a nearly constant spectral
amplitude in the frequency range up to 20 GHz. The LLG is solved on the
mesh with a realistic damping parameter ( = 0.005). The free precession
of each cell moment is recorded. Contrary to recording only the averaged
response this allows one to construct images of the amplitude and phase
distribution within the ring (Fourier transform imaging). This is achieved
by a fast Fourier transformation of each cells magnetization trace m
i
(t)
(local FFT). Then a false color plot can be made where the amplitude and
phase of each cell at are represented by grey or color scales at a desired
frequency. We have simulated a 300 nm wide and 4 nm thick permalloy ring
with the saturation magnetization taken to be that of the reference lm for
batch #2 (
0
M = 1.36 T). The ring lies in the (x, y) plane, the external
eld is in the x direction.
The Fourier transformation of the simulated averaged magnetization of
the ring in the onion state is shown in Fig. 6.13 (a) together with a measured
spectrum (b). Simulation and measurement were performed at an external
eld of
0
H = 86 mT. In the measured spectrum one can distinguish modes
A and B as well as the two satellites of mode A. The frequencies of the main
modes are f
A
= 13.5 GHz and f
B
= 6.4 GHz. The simulated spectrum
looks qualitatively similar. There are more modes and their line width is
in general smaller. A high frequency mode with the strongest absorption is
seen at f
A
sim
= 10.83 GHz. This mode could be attributed to mode A. There
6.3. Dipolar Mode Localization in the High Field Regime 111
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20
satellites
B
A


a
b
s
o
r
p
t
i
o
n

(
a
r
b
.

u
n
i
t
s
)
(a)
simulation
satellites


a
b
s
o
r
p
t
i
o
n

(
a
r
b
.

u
n
i
t
s
)
frequency f (GHz)
(b) experiment
A
B
FIG. 6.13: (a) Simulated absorption spectrum of a ring with w = 300 nm, t = 4 nm, and
M
s
= 1.36 T. The external eld was
0
H = 86 mT. (b) measured absorption spectrum
of a ring with the same width and saturation magnetization but a dierent thickness
t = 26 nm.
is a set of four smaller modes similar to the satellites of mode A. Two low
frequency modes are observed, one at 4.28 GHz and the other at 1.46 GHz.
They are signicantly weaker in intensity than the other simulated modes.
Due to the frequency spacing between mode A and B in the experiment of
f = 7.1 GHz we identify the mode at 4.28 GHz with mode B (marked by
an arrow).
The cell by cell Fourier transformations of the simulated eigenmodes of
the 300 nm wide ring are presented in Fig. 6.14. The mode at 10.9 GHz
shows clear maxima in the ring side arms for the m
y
- and m
z
-components
(white spots). This is a conrmation of the conjecture of mode localization
put forward in the previous sections. The m
z
-component (out-of-plane com-
ponent) shows additionally a standing wave pattern that extends around the
ring near the ring boundaries.
The m
y
-component of the mode at 4.3 GHz in (a) shows high ampli-
tudes at the inner and outer boundaries of the ring except at the positions
perpendicular and parallel to the external eld. Its m
z
-component shows a
complex standing wave pattern that extends around the whole ring. One
can observe a high amplitude in the positions at 0

and 180

with respect to
112 Chapter 6. Magnetization Dynamics of Rings
4.28 GHz B @
10.86 GHz A @
(a) (b) (c)
(d) (e) (f)
max
min
H
0
p
h
hf
x
y
FIG. 6.14: Simulated mode proles of a ring with w = 300 nm, t = 4 nm, and
0
M =
1.36 T. The external eld was
0
H = 86 mT. The prole of the mode with 4.28 GHz is
shown in (a)-(c). (a) is the m
y
component, (b) m
z
, and (c) is the phase. (d)-(e) mode
prole for the mode at 10.9 GHz. White: maximum, black: minimum.
the external eld. This mode shows a weaker localization which can explain
why in the angular dependent spectra it does not behave like a hard-axis
magnetized wire. The calculated mode distribution is still consistent with
the hard-axis behavior as a function of the ring width.
In Fig. 6.15 we show the simulation of the magnetization dynamics of
a ring in the vortex state. Panel (a) shows the average simulated spec-
trum at
0
H = 10 mT and panel (b) a measured single spectrum at

0
H = 31 mT. Note that the two broad features marked waveguide
are found in every sample, in particular also with empty waveguides. We
attribute them to some absorption of our transmission line or waveguide.
While the quantitative agreement is relatively poor, the qualitative agree-
ment is excellent. We nd two dominant modes in the simulation just as
in the measurement. Even one small satellite absorption found in the ex-
periment between the main modes is reproduced in the simulation (marked
by arrow). The mode proles of the dominant modes are shown in panels
(b) and (d). We observe a localization of the these two modes in the ring
side arms. The higher mode labelled f
p
is indeed found in the side arm
whose magnetization points parallel to the external eld [Fig. 6.15 (b)]. It
is less strongly localized and one can observe a standing wave pattern that
extends around the whole ring [Fig. 6.15 (d)]. Nevertheless there is a clear
mode maximum in the side arm. The mode labelled f
a
is found in the an-
tiparallel side arm. The simulation excellently conrms our interpretation
of the mode splitting of narrow rings in the vortex state.
6.3. Dipolar Mode Localization in the High Field Regime 113
-H
0 2 4 6 8 10
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14

f
a
f
a


a
b
s
o
r
p
t
i
o
n

(
a
r
b
.

u
n
i
t
s
) (a) (b)
(d)
f
p
f
p
-10 mT
sim.
f
p
f
a
f
a
f
a


a
b
s
o
r
p
t
i
o
n

(
a
r
b
.

u
n
i
t
s
)
frequency f (GHz)
(a) (c)
(b)
f
p
f
p
wave guide
-31 mT
meas.
FIG. 6.15: (a) Simulated mode proles of a ring with w = 300 nm, t = 4 nm, and

0
M = 1.36 T in the vortex state. The external eld was
0
H = 10 mT. (b) Measured
spectrum of a ring with w = 300 nm at
0
H = 31 mT. (c) Simulated m
z
component of
the mode labelled f
a
. (d) Simulated m
z
component of the mode labelled f
p
. The vortex
circulation direction is sketched in (c). White: maximum, black: minimum. Note the
dierent frequency scales.
It should be noted that the quantitative agreement of the simulations is
relatively poor. Similar disagreement is reported in the literature [Par03]. It
is also noteworthy that the simulated spectrum depends signicantly on the
thickness t as very recent results have shown. The result of the simulation
of thick rings is strongly inuenced by the cell discretization. This problem
can be circumvented if one uses small thicknesses in the simulation. This
is why we have used t = 4 nm in the simulation as opposed to 26 nm in
the real sample. The discrepancy of the resonance frequency and switching
elds is very likely due to the dierent thicknesses.
The simulation results, however, clearly conrm the localization of the
highest mode A in the onion state and the vortex qualitatively. In the onion
state it shows mode B to have localized parts in the hard-axis segments
but also a complex standing spin wave pattern extending around the whole
ring. The mode localization of mode A extends to the vortex state. The
114 Chapter 6. Magnetization Dynamics of Rings
mode in the antiparallel ring arm shows a clear localization. The mode in
the parallel ring arm is also localized although less strongly. An additional
standing wave pattern is found, that extends around the whole ring.
6.3.4 Analytical Approach for the Description of Mode Lo-
calization
The micromagnetic simulations conrm the experimental ndings of a mode
localization in the ring side arms of narrow rings. So far the behavior of the
localized modes has been described in the framework of a phenomenological
innite wire model, which is unsurprisingly incapable of explaining the un-
derlying reason for the localization. The description of the side arm modes
of a ring worked well in the wire model because the localization length is
short enough for the ring segments curvature to be neglected. Now, we want
to go a step further and attempt to explain why the modes are localized.
The reason for the localization in nite rectangular elements lies always
in an inhomogeneity of the internal eld. We will now try to adapt the
WKB approach used for the rectangular elements [Gus03, Bay03b] to the
rings side arms, because the internal eld prole is similar. The result of
the micromagnetic simulation of the internal eld for a 300 nm ring are
presented in Fig. 6.16 (a). We used the parameters of batch #2 for the
simulation. The important component for the further discussion is the x-
component (along the eld direction) [Fig. 6.16(a)]. White corresponds to

0
H
int
= 90 mT and black to 0 mT. The micromagnetic simulations clearly
show what is intuitively clear: In the rings side arms the internal eld is at
a maximum because the spins are aligned with the boundary (white spots
in the side arms). There is an asymmetry within the side arm regions. At
the inner radius R
i
the internal eld is higher than at the outer radius R
out
.
The reason for this is possibly because the exchange energy contribution is
higher for spins near the inner ring border. The bending radius is smaller
and hence the angle of neighboring spins will be higher if spins follow the
ring border in order to minimize the demagnetizing eld.
Lateral cuts through H
x
int
along the dashed lines indicated in Fig. 6.16
(a) are shown in panel (b) of the same gure. The cuts are parallel to the
applied eld direction and y = R
i
+ 40 nm, R
i
+ w/2 , and R
i
+ 260 nm
from the ring center [Point (1 m,1 m) in Fig. 6.16 (a)]. The resemblance
with the internal eld proles along the applied eld direction of rectangular
elements immediately implies that a similar dipolar localization mechanism
could be at play. As in the rectangular elements we think of a local dispersion
in the position dependant internal eld landscape [Dem04b, Jor02, Bay04,
6.3. Dipolar Mode Localization in the High Field Regime 115
0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0
0.0
0.5
1.0
1.5
2.0

x (m)
y
(

m
)
0
H
ext
86 mT
(a) (b)
0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0
25
50
75
40
60
80
40
60
80
(iii)

x (m)
y = R
i
+40 nm
y = R
i
+150 nm
(ii)

0
H
i
n
t
(
m
T
)
y = R
i
+260 nm


(i)
( ) i
( ) iii
FIG. 6.16: (a) Grey scale plot of micromagnetic calculation of the x-component of the
internal eld at
0
H = 86 mT (ring width 300 nm). Scale: 0 (black)- 90 mT (white). Note
that OOMMF calculates many spikes in cells at the ring border (cells that do not have
a nearest neighbor in all directions) probably due to the exchange energy contribution.
They are discarded for the calculation of resonance frequencies. (b) Lateral proles along
the dashed lines indicated in (a). Note the resemblance with the proles of rectangular
elements along the applied eld direction.
Bay03b]. We make the further simplifying assumption that we can treat the
internal eld as translationally invariant along the y direction. We will use
the eld prole along the ring center at R + w/2 for the calculation. The
dispersion is calculated as for rectangular elements by virtue of (4.7) [Gus03]

2
mn
=
_

mn
H
+
M

2
mn
_ _

mn
H
+
M

2
mn
+
M
F
mn
(
mn
t)
_
,
where
mn
H
is the frequency corresponding to the eective internal eld value

mn
H
=
H

M
N
mn
, with (6.12)
N
mn
=
4
wt
_
d

m
2
mn
(

)N
xx
(

). (6.13)
The integration extends over the area of the rectangle with a width equal
to the ring width w and a length equal to the localization length . The
area is shown schematically in Fig. 6.16 (a). The matrix elements for the
dipole-dipole interaction are again given by
116 Chapter 6. Magnetization Dynamics of Rings
F
mn
(
mn
t) = 1 P(
mn
t)
_
k
2
m,x

2
mn
_
+
P(
mn
t) (1 P(
mn
t))
_

M

H
mn
+
M

2
mn
_
_
k
2
n,y

2
mn
_
(6.14)
and
P(
mn
t) = 1
1 exp(
mn
t)

mn
t
. (6.15)
For our curved segments we assume the discrete wave vectors in the x and
y direction to be given by
k
m,x
=
(m+ 1)

, and k
n,y
=
(n + 1)
w
n, m = 0, 1, 2 . . . (6.16)
and
2
mn
= k
2
m,x
+k
2
n,y
.
A slight modication was necessary compared to Ch. 4 where dipolar
pinning at the boundaries of rectangular elements was taken into account
by the eective width w
e
which is always slightly larger than the real
width. The spins at the boundary of a magnetic element are neither free
nor fully pinned. In a curved element it is also expected that a dipolar
pinning of some type may exist, but one cannot expect the approximate
formula for w
e
derived for the case of straight boundaries also to hold in
the case of curved structures. We therefore assume fully pinned modes and
use k
n,y
= (n + 1)/w instead of (n + 1)/w
e
in the calculation.
The localization length is initially unknown as are in principle the
mode proles m
mn
(x, y) needed for the calculation of the frequency cor-
responding to the eective internal eld value
mn
H
(6.12). But as in the
previous chapter we can just make educated guesses since the frequency
does not strongly depend on the particular choice of the mode prole. It
does, however, strongly depend on which width is used in the denition of
k
n,y
. The mode proles are assumed to be m
e
mn
= cos(k
m,x
x) cos(k
n,y
y) for
both indices even and m
o
mn
= sin(k
m,x
x) sin(k
n,y
y) for both indices odd or
the suitable combination of sine and cosine for mixed even and odd indices.
Our calculations will show that only the lowest mode in the longitudinal
direction n = 0 is needed. Note that the lowest mode prole (0, 0) used for
6.3. Dipolar Mode Localization in the High Field Regime 117
0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0
60
65
70
75
80
85
90
0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0
10
11
12
13
14
v iv iii ii
(b)

i
n
t
e
r
n
a
l

f
i
e
l
d

0

H
i
n
t

(
m
T
)
position x (m)
(a)
i


f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f

(
G
H
z
)
wave vector k
x
(10
5
/cm)
i
ii
iii
iv
v
f
exp
FIG. 6.17: (a) Internal eld prole along the middle (R
i
+w/2) of a ring side arm at an
applied eld of
0
H = 86 mT (ring width 300 nm). The values at the positions marked by
the roman numerals (dashed lines) are used for the calculation of the dispersion. (b) The
calculated dispersions as a function of wave vector k
x
in the direction of the applied eld
at the positions marked in (a). For points outside of the region denoted by (full vertical
lines) there is no real wave vector at which the dispersion intersects the experimental
frequency of 13.6 GHz and therefore no modes can exist.
the calculation shown in Fig. 6.18 bears strong resemblance with the prole
observed in micromagnetic simulations Fig. 6.14 (e).
With the above formulae the dispersion curves
0n
are calculated (Fig.
6.18) with the set of parameters always used for samples from batch #2
(t = 14.5 nm (AFM),
0
M = 1.36 T, g = 2). is varied until the lowest
mode ts the experimental data very well. The dispersion curves as a func-
tion of the wave vector k
x
for dierent internal eld values is shown in Fig.
6.17 (b). The positions of the values of the internal eld in the calculations
are indicated in panel (a) by roman numerals (i )-(v). We see that outside a
certain region there are no real wave vectors which can satisfy the dispersion
relation f
exp
= f
0n
(k
m,x
, H
int
). In Fig. 6.17 (b) one of these limiting disper-
sions corresponding to position (v) is marked in grey. It does not have an
intersection with the experimental frequency (horizontal line) at 13.6 GHz.
Outside of the points v the spin waves are thus exponentially damped.
The wave vector as a function of position along the magnetic eld is
plotted in Fig. 6.18 (b). The dierence of the left and right positions at
which the intersection with the experimental frequency is at k
x
(x
i
0
) = 0
(turning points) denes the localization length through = x
l
0
x
r
0
. It is
found to be 760 nm for this case. We have found that the best way for
118 Chapter 6. Magnetization Dynamics of Rings
0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0
0.0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
65
70
75
80
85
0 20 40 60 80 100
10
12
14
16
18
20
22
w
a
v
e

v
e
c
t
o
r

k
x

(
1
0
5
/
c
m
)
x (m)
~ 760 nm

0
H
ext
= 86 mT R
i
+w/2
(b)
m
y

0

H
i
n
t

(
m
T
)

(0,0)
(0,1)
(0,4)
x
n=4
n=3
n=2
n=1


f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f

(
G
H
z
)

0
H
ext
(mT)
n=0
(a)
FIG. 6.18: (a) Magnetic eld dispersion of several modes (black lines) and experimental
data (black symbols). (b) Calculated wave vector (black line) as a function of the position
in the internal eld landscape (grey line). Turning points exist outside which no real
wave vector can be found. The left and right turning points dene the localization length
= x
l
0
x
r
0
= 760 nm. The right hand side graphs represent the mode proles (0,0), (0,1),
(0,4) (from bottom to top) used for the calculation.
a starting value
0
for the calculation is to adjust the calculated magnetic
eld dispersion to the experimental data [Fig. 6.18 (a)]. Note again the
underlying assumption that varies only weakly with the external eld.
One might alternatively think about a self-consistency approach in which
a starting value
0
is chosen, which is in principle arbitrary. Then one could
calculate the dispersions and the wave vector as a function of the x coordi-
nate and nd a value
1
. Then the calculation is iteratively repeated with
the new localization length until it does not change signicantly anymore:

n+1

n
0. This calculation leads to localization lengths at which the
magnetic eld dispersion does not describe the data very well anymore and
it does not necessarily converge. Therefore it seemed to us to make more
6.4. Low Field Regime 119
sense to chose
0
such that magnetic eld dependence of the dispersion is
well described and then only the correction after one calculation step is
used. Nevertheless the value for the localization length is more of a ball-
park estimate than a rigorous determination. Note that the value is similar
to dipolar localization found in square elements [Bay03b]. The localization
length found within this analytical approach is reasonably close to the values
one nds in the micromagnetic simulations.
The wave vector should fulll the semi-classical Bohr-Sommerfeld quan-
tization integral

l
+
r
+ 2
_
x
r
0
x
l
0
k
x,n
(
mn
, H
int
(x))dx = 2l, (6.17)
which might serve as a second consistency check. The phase jumps at the
turning points are, however, unknown. The value of the integral over the
wave vector between the determined turnings points is 2.86549, close to
within 10%. This model shows that the modes in the ring side arms are
localized in a region where the internal eld is at a maximum.
We have presented an analytical approach which is capable of explaining
the mode localization of mode A in the ring side arms. We found a localiza-
tion length of 760 nm. The localization length is consistent with that found
in micromagnetic simulations. The mode prole for the calculation strongly
resembles that found in the simulations.
6.4 Low Field Regime
6.4.1 Vortex Self-Biasing
Now we turn to a discussion of the high frequency response in the low eld
regime. The overview in Fig. 6.2 at the beginning of the chapter had shown
that the low eld frequency response of a ring depends on the ring width.
We start by taking a closer look at the narrow rings (batch #1) with widths
ranging between 250 nm and 400 nm. The low eld part of the spectrum
of these rings is shown in Fig. 6.19. All three presented rings show a mode
splitting into two modes. At some lower eld the lower branch suddenly
disappears. The region that shows a mode splitting was shown to be the
vortex state. The 300 and 400 nm wide rings show a clear step in the
magnetic eld dispersion when they enter and leave the vortex state. This
step can also be seen in the rst satellite mode in the 300 nm wide ring
[dark grey symbols in (b)]. The 400 nm wide ring (c) shows a step in the
120 Chapter 6. Magnetization Dynamics of Rings
-40 -20 0 20 40
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
-40 -20 0 20 40 -40 -20 0 20 40

f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f

(
G
H
z
)

0
H (mT)
(a)
250 nm

0
H (mT)
(b)
300 nm

0
H (mT)
(c)
400 nm
FIG. 6.19: Magnetic eld dispersion of narrow magnetic rings in the low eld range. (a)
w = 250 nm, (b) w = 300 nm, and (c) w = 400 nm. Note the increasingly pronounced
frequency shift when the rings enter and leave the vortex state (arrows).
rst satellite mode (dark grey symbols) and the higher order mode (light
grey symbols). In the vortex state the branches show a parallel shift to
higher frequencies. Additionally it can be noted that the lower branch with
negative dispersion shows an increased curvature as the rings become wider.
The frequency shift can particularly well be followed in minor loop mea-
surements as shown in Fig. 6.20 (a). When the 400 nm wide rings enter
the vortex state in the down-sweep from positive saturation (light grey sym-
bols) the step is clearly observable at around 7 mT. The step extends
over 2.5 mT which is attributable to the distribution of switching elds in
the array.
4
In the vortex state (black symbols) the branches have a clearly
higher frequency. At
0
H = 0 mT the frequency shift is measured to be
f(H = 0) = 105 MHz.
The observation of a parallel shift of the modes in the vortex state of
narrow rings could be a consequence of the absence of stray eld in the
vortex state. In the onion state a stray eld H
onion
dm
is directed mainly in the
negative x direction [Fig. 6.20 (b)]. This stray eld lowers the internal eld
in the ring side arms and thereby the precessional frequency of the modes
localized in the side arms. The resonance frequency could be modelled in
this situation by
4
Note that this is the rst time in the course of the investigation that we have seen an
averaging of any ensemble properties compared to single nanomagnets.
6.4. Low Field Regime 121
-20 -10 0 10 20 30
6
7
8
9
10


f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f

(
G
H
z
)

0
H (mT)
f (H=0)=105 MHz
(a) (b)
H
onion
dm
x
y
FIG. 6.20: (a) Minor loop of a ring array with w = 400 nm (black symbols). The down
sweep is included as light grey symbols. At the transitions from onion to vortex state
there are clear steps in the dispersion curves marked by arrows. In the vortex state the
dispersion branches display a higher frequency as in the onion state. The black line is a t
to Eq. 6.18. The grey line is a t to Eq. 6.19. (b) Sketch of a ring in the onion state and
the ring side arms in the rings stray eld H
onion
dm
which decreases the resonance frequency.
f
onion
=

0
2
_
(H
ext
+H
A
H
onion
dm
)(H
ext
+H
A
H
onion
dm
+M)
_
1
2
. (6.18)
Here, H
A
is the eective anisotropy of the side arm. H
A
is a parameter
that is determined from the experiment. When the rings enter the vortex
state the stray eld contribution is suddenly turned o and the resonance
frequency is shifted to higher values, e.g. for the lower branch caused by the
parallel ring arm:
f
a
vortex
=

0
2
((H
A
H
ext
)(H
A
H
ext
+M))
1
2
. (6.19)
According to formulae (6.18) and (6.19) one can estimate the eective stray
eld:
H
onion
dm
=
2H
A
+M
2
+

(2H
A
+M)
2
4
+
(2f(H = 0))
2

2
0
(2H
A
+M)
. (6.20)
The eective anisotropy eld can be estimated from the frequency in the
vortex state at
0
H = 0 mT to be
0
H
A
= 70 mT assuming the saturation
magnetization M = 1120 mT always used for batch #1. This gives a stray
122 Chapter 6. Magnetization Dynamics of Rings
eld of
0
H
onion
dm
= 3 mT. Fits with these parameters are included in Fig.
6.20 (a). They describe the data, in particular the frequency shift, well. If
the stray eld in the onion state is responsible for slightly lower frequencies
in the onion state it is also reasonable to argue that this eect is more
pronounced for wider rings. The stray eld scales with the sample volume
and therefore wider rings have a higher stray eld. Thus the step f at
the transition from vortex to onion should be higher for wider rings. This
is observed in the experiment.
A further feature of the low eld regime deserves mentioning. The
branches of the narrowest ring (w = 250 nm) seem to clearly show a crossing
at zero applied eld (e.g. Fig. 6.6). For wider rings a dierent behavior is
observed. The 400 nm wide rings in Fig. 6.20 show only one resonance peak
at 8.1 GHz in the range between (2.6 mT and +3.6 mT), which does not
show a dependence on the applied eld. The lower branch can be traced
throughout the minor loop sweep presented in Fig. 6.20 whereas the upper
branch seems to perform a jump down to the level of the dispersionless part
of the lower branch. It does not disappear since the absorption amplitude of
the lower branch increases by about a factor of 2 in the dispersionless eld
interval. The absorption amplitude is exactly the same as that of mode A
just after the transition from vortex to reverse onion state.
This might be an experimental indication that the two side arms no
longer precess independently as has been assumed in the discussion of vortex
state dynamics of very narrow rings. The micromagnetic simulation of the
vortex state has shown that the localized mode in the parallel side arm
radiates spin waves around the whole ring in the from of a standing wave
pattern. One might speculate that due to these spin waves some type of
frequency locking of the side arms occurs. Further investigations are needed
here.
6.4.2 Steps in the Vortex State Dispersion
The dispersion of the ring array with w = 600 nm is shown in Fig. 6.21. In
the high eld regime the by now well known modes A (starting at 11.9 GHz),
a higher order mode (15.4 GHz), and lower satellites are identied. Note
that there are four satellites [not shown in (b) for clarity]. The vortex self-
biasing shift as the rings enter the vortex is even more pronounced than in
the 400 nm wide rings and the step is very sharp. What is more, there are
clear steps in the lower branch in the vortex state. Three of those steps can
be clearly distinguished. We show in Fig. 6.21 (a) unprocessed measurement
data. The steps are absent in the upper branch. One can also identify the
6.4. Low Field Regime 123
-75 -50 -25 0 25 50 75
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18


f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f

(
G
H
z
)

0
H (mT)
(b)
-75 -50 -25 0 25 50 75
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18

0
H (mT)
f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f

(
G
H
z
)
(a)
FIG. 6.21: (a) Grey scale plot of unprocessed measurement data of a ring array with
w = 600 nm, D
o
= 2 m, and t = 26 nm. The eld was swept from +91 mT to
91 mT. Note the pronounced steps in the lower branch in the vortex state. (b) Extracted
dispersion, not all modes are shown for clarity.
higher order mode A in the vortex but the present resolution does not allow
to determine whether there are also steps in this mode.
We show in Fig. 6.22 a minor loop in the vortex state. Three quantized
steps can be seen at positive and negative elds but only in the lower branch,
which is attributed to the antiparallel ring arms. From the data one nds a
frequency spacing of the steps of f = 450 MHz.
The angular dependence of the rings in the vortex state is shown in Fig.
6.23. Intriguingly we see again three quantized steps around the angles 90

and 270

. Between 0

and 90

an intense high frequency mode (8.2 GHz)


and a relatively weak low frequency mode (6.2 GHz) can be observed. The
latter mode is seen at all angles, which clearly shows that its main excitation
amplitude must be localized in a side arm (otherwise there would be no-
signal-zones). The main excitation amplitude of the quantized steps must
for the same reason also be located in the ring side arms. Around the
angles where three quantized steps are observed, the internal eld in the
ring side arms is degenerate, since the external eld points perpendicular to
the magnetization.
The reason for the quantized steps is not fully understood yet. Similar
staircase dispersions as far as the shape is concerned have also been found
in BLS investigations on longitudinally magnetized wires [Mat98, Jor99] for
modes with a wave vector perpendicular to the wire axis. In these investiga-
tion the quantization was in the wave vector dispersion and was caused by
124 Chapter 6. Magnetization Dynamics of Rings
-15 -10 -5 0 5 10 15 20 25
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
-15 -10 -5 0 5 10 15 20 25
4
6
8
10
12
14
16

0
H (mT)
f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f

(
G
H
z
)
(a)


f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f

(
G
H
z
)

0
H (mT)
(b)
FIG. 6.22: (a) Grey scale plot of unprocessed measurement data of a ring array with
w = 600 nm, obtained from a minor loop in the vortex state. (b) Extracted dispersion. A
stair-case magnetic eld dispersion is clearly observed. The frequency spacing between
the steps is f = 450 MHz.
-60 0 60 120 180 240 300 360
3
6
9
12
15

angle ()
f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f

(
G
H
z
)
FIG. 6.23: Grey scale plot of the angular dependence of the 600 nm wide rings in the
vortex state. The external eld was kept constant at |
0
H|= 15mT. One distinguishes
clearly regions around 90

and 270

where there are three dispersionless steps and regions


in between where two modes are observed.
6.4. Low Field Regime 125
the small width of the wires, which allowed only for Damon-Eshbach spin
waves with quantized wave vectors k
n
= n/w. Note that in our case the
quantized steps are in the magnetic eld dispersion.
Micromagnetic simulations of w = 300 nm rings have shown that in the
vortex state modes in the side arms can be only weakly localized and that
a complex standing spin wave can extend around the whole ring. In the
case of the w = 300 nm ring the mode in the antiparallel arm was more
strongly localized than the mode in the parallel arm. The wave pattern
of the antiparallel arm extended around a fraction of the ring and had a
much longer wavelength. It might turn out that in 600 nm wide rings also
the modes of the antiparallel side arm extend around the whole ring. In
this case the steps might be caused by a quantization condition such that
the wavelength of the standing spin wave must be a multiple of the ring
circumference. This would be a natural explanation for the steps. Since in
the simulation the parallel arm standing wave pattern has a much shorter
wavelength, it might be possible that in this case the step height is much
smaller. As a consequence the dispersion can appear in the experiment to be
continuous. If this turns out to be true, the spin waves in the dierent vortex
side arms could be viewed in analogy to the semiclassical description of a
particle in a central potential, such as the electron around a nucleus, with
low energy bound states and a high energy continuum. Further investigation
is needed here to clarify the origin of the steps.
6.4.3 Triple Switching
It can be observed in Fig. 6.24 that rings wider than 600 nm show a dierent
behavior in the low eld regime. There is no clear mode splitting. Let us
elaborate on the similarities of the wide rings of batch #1 with w = 700 nm,
800 nm, and the disks. When the applied eld is swept from saturation
towards zero in all three instances very near zero applied magnetic eld the
low lying strong absorption branch vanishes and a mode appears that does
not show a magnetic eld dispersion over the range of its existence. The
frequencies of this plateau are 5.6 GHz for the 700 nm wide rings, 5.5 GHz
for the 800 nm wide rings, and 4.5 GHz for the disks (region labelled V).
When the eld is further decreased a jump occurs to a higher frequency
followed by an upward bent dispersion branch. This branch disappears
around [
0
H
ext
[= 20 mT for all samples. In the eld range marked VCE
the low lying strong absorption curve reappears in all three samples.
A triple switching reversal can occur under certain circumstances as
predicted by micromagnetic simulations (Ch. 5) and veried experimentally
126 Chapter 6. Magnetization Dynamics of Rings
-40 -20 0 20 40
2
4
6
8
10
-40 -20 0 20 40
2
4
6
8
10
-40 -20 0 20 40
2
4
6
8
10
700 nm
V


f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f

(
G
H
z
)

0
H (mT)
(a)
700 nm
VCE
VCE
VCE V V

0
H (mT)
(b)
800 nm
(d)

0
H (mT)
(c)
disk
-40 -20 0 20 40
2
4
6
8
10

0
H (mT)
f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f

(
G
H
z
)
FIG. 6.24: Magnetic eld dispersions of ring array samples with w = 700 nm, 800 nm
and disks. (a) grey scale plot of the dispersion of the 700 nm wide rings to show all modes.
Note also the intensity jump at 22 mT. (b) extracted dispersion (not all modes shown).
(c) w = 800 nm. (d) disks.
[Kla03a, Kla03b]. We had seen that increasing the width of rings, the dis-
persion in the vortex state goes from a clear mode crossing behavior for
narrow rings (Fig. 6.6) to a behavior where a plateau-like region is observed
(400 nm wide ring in Fig. 6.20). The wide rings discussed here all show a
pronounced plateau beginning at around zero external eld. The eld range
of the dispersionless plateau becomes smaller as the ring width is increased.
A strong decrease of the vortex to reverse onion switching eld is a trend
which has also been observed in epitaxial Co rings with similar geometric
parameters [Kla04a]. These observations make it plausible to assign this
dispersionless plateau to the (global) vortex state.
In a triple switching reversal the global vortex is followed by the for-
mation of a vortex core at the inner region of a ring [Kla04a, Kla03a] and
disks [Cow99] in the antiparallel pointing ring- or disk-half. The core forma-
6.4. Low Field Regime 127
tion is followed by the gradual expulsion of the vortex core in the direction
perpendicular to the applied eld (See Fig. 5.2). This expulsion is usually
terminated by a jump of small jump height in hysteresis curves. We nd a
behavior consistent with this scenario of the mode in the region tentatively
labelled VCE (vortex core expulsion): A sudden jump to higher frequencies
terminates the vortex region (V). This jump is followed by a gradual increase
in the frequency as well as the onset of the strong low frequency mode in all
three samples. The gradual increase terminates by a small jump in the case
of 800 nm wide rings and disks. The jump is not very pronounced in the
700 nm wide rings but clearly the intensity of the strong modes increases
abruptly and the curvature of the modes changes.
These similarities with the static magnetization reversal process make
the attribution of vortex and vortex core expulsion regimes very likely. The
dynamics of these regions is more complicated because due to the involve-
ment of the vortex core the clear wire like behavior is no longer observed.
Further investigation is needed in order to clarify the amplitude and phase
distribution of the mode spectrum. These investigations show the possibility
to identify vortex cores in the mode spectrum and controllably obtain spin
congurations with vortex cores in due to the applied eld history.
Summarizing this chapter, the magnetization dynamics of symmetric
permalloy rings has been investigated in detail. We found that the static
magnetization states clearly inuence the dynamics of the rings. We found
experimental evidence for a mode localization in rings. An explanation
was given by means of an analytical model and micromagnetic simulations.
Due to this mode localization the ring segments in which certain modes
are localized behave like wires. This allowed us to quantitatively describe a
number of observations, such as mode splitting in the vortex state, resonance
frequencies of main modes as a function of ring width, angular dependence
etc. with a phenomenological model developed in this thesis. In the low eld
regime we could observe and estimate the eects of the onion demagnetizing
eld as a sudden frequency shift in the vortex state. We found steps in the
magnetic eld dispersion of 600 nm wide rings. Evidence for triple switching
in wide rings involving a vortex core was presented.
Chapter 7
Vortex Circulation Control
and Mode Spectrum of
Asymmetric Rings
The vortex state in ring magnets is an interesting state for memory elements
in high density storage because it is stray eld free. In order to use the vortex
circulation for information storage one has to be able to control the vortex
circulation direction of a ring. It was shown in a previous chapter and in
[Kla01] that a particular onion direction is in general followed by a particular
vortex circulation direction, which depends on the microscopic details of a
ring such as edge roughness, oxidation spots and so on. It is always the same
circulation direction for a particular ring but in a large array, one will nd an
unpredictable distribution of clockwise and counterclockwise vortices, which
is undesirable.
Two publications have already investigated the possibility of vortex cir-
culation manipulation [Nak04, Sai04]. Both studies utilize asymmetries that
lead to a stray eld observable with an MFM: In [Nak04] one edge of the
ring is cut o leading to edges with a strong stray eld, in [Sai04] an ellip-
tical decentered inner hole is used. While the stray eld of both structures
allows for the investigation with the MFM it is counterproductive for high
density storage where the absence of any stray eld in the vortex state is
the particularly desirable feature.
In this thesis we investigated asymmetric rings with a decentered inner
circular hole. The design was intentionally chosen to study the origin of
the mode localization and the possibility to control the vortex circulation
direction. Assuming a mode localization, the dierent width in the ring
128
129
a) b)
d
i
a = 1.13 m, = 140 nm
d
i
D
o
c)
a
d
i
a = 570 nm, = 310 nm
FIG. 7.1: (a) AFM image of ring array AR0303. The inner hole diameter is d
i
= 570 nm
the oset is a = 316 nm and the outer diameter D
o
= 2.0 m. (b) SEM image of ring array
AR0502 with d
i
= 1.13 m and a = 140 nm. (c) Denitions of geometrical parameters.
side arms should lead to dierent resonance frequencies, thus giving us local
information about the magnetization in the side arms. This enables us to
determine the absolute vortex circulation direction, while choosing a ring
asymmetry that is still stray eld free in the vortex state. In the following
the mode spectrum of the asymmetric rings will be consistently interpreted
in terms of the mode localization picture presented in the previous chapter,
thus serving as a further experimental verication of that picture. The
coordinate system for the denition of the circulation direction of a vortex
is chosen such that the ring lies in the (x, y) plane and we look from the
positive z direction.
We investigated two types of arrays containing 750 rings each. The rings
are made of permalloy. They were measured by AFM to have a diameter
of 2.0 0.02 m and to be t = (35 5) nm thick. In the rst array,
denoted AR0303
1
, the inner hole diameter was measured to be (57020) nm.
The hole was oset by a = (310 20) nm. The oset is dened as the
distance between the origin of the inner circular boundary to the origin of the
outer boundary. An atomic force micrograph of the nished array is shown
in Fig. 7.1 (a). The second array AR0502 was not investigated by AFM.
Because it was simultaneously deposited we can assume the same thickness
of t = 35 nm. The geometrical parameters for this array are taken from
SEM pictures on a reference sample [Fig. 7.1 (b)]. The inner hole diameter
is determined as d
i
= (1.13 0.02) m and the oset is a = (140 20) nm.
Panel (c) of the same gure is a diagram showing the geometrical notations.
1
Nomenclature: A

symmetric r

ings, inner radius 0.3 m, oset 0.3 m.


130
Chapter 7. Vortex Circulation Control
and Mode Spectrum of Asymmetric Rings
0 5 10 15 20
-60
-40
-20
0
20
40
60
(b)

0
H

(
m
T
)
position x (m)
H
(a)
(c)
(d)
(e)
(f)
FIG. 7.2: (a) AFM image of 6 rings of the array AR0303. (b) MFM image at
0
H =
74 mT (onion state). (c) Up-sweep of line scan hysteresis along the grey dashed line in
(b) between 74 mT and +74 mT. Between 0 mT and 20 mT a region with low magnetic
contrast is observed (vortex). On the right: micromagnetic simulations of a 20 nm thick
asymmetric ring (d
i
= 500 nm, a = 300 nm) (d) onion state at 74 mT, (e) vortex state
with warped magnetization in the wide side arm. (f) vortex.
In all our experimental investigations the external eld is applied in the
plane of the rings and perpendicular to the oset vector (see Fig. 7.1).
7.1 Magnetostatic Characterization
We have utilized magnetic force microscopy to gain an overview of the static
magnetization states present in the sample AR0303. In Fig. 7.2 (b) an MFM
image recorded at
0
H = 74 mT is shown. As in symmetric rings one can
see black and white spots that indicate the positions of the domain walls.
A micromagnetic simulation of this state is shown in (d). We have again
performed a line scan hysteresis along the position of highest contrast. In
7.1. Magnetostatic Characterization 131
-75 -50 -25 0 25 50 75
-1.0
-0.5
0.0
0.5
1.0
h
g
d


M
x
/
M
S

0
H (mT)
a) b) c) d) e)
f)
g)
h)
i)
a
b
c
e
f
+H
FIG. 7.3: Micromagnetic simulation of the magnetization reversal of an asymmetric ring
with d
i
= 500 nm, oset a = 300 nm, outer diameter D
o
= 2.0 m and t = 20 nm. (a)-(h)
are snapshots during reversal. The magnetic elds are indicated in the hysteresis curve (g).
The grey scale encodes the x-component of magnetization. The domain walls are dragged
towards the smaller ring arm and a counterclockwise vortex forms upon annihilation of
the domain walls.
the present case of asymmetric rings the contrast is highest along a line
through the origin of the inner hole [dashed grey line in (b)]. The hysteretic
behavior is as follows: We started at 74 mT. A clear white-black contrast
is visible up to around
0
H = 0 mT where the rings enter a low contrast
state. The absence of magnetic contrast implies that this is the vortex state.
A micromagnetic simulation of this state is shown in Fig. 7.2 (f). At around
20 mT, with a switching eld distribution of approximately
0
H
sw

3 mT, the rings switch to a state with reversed black-white contrast that
persists up to +74 mT.
Judging from the line scan hysteresis alone it seems as if the array
AR0303 displayed the same two-step switching as the narrow symmetric
rings in Ch. 6. But in asymmetric rings the properties of narrow and wide
rings might mix because of the presence of narrow and wide ring arms at the
same time. A micromagnetic simulation for this ring geometry indicates for
example a warping of the magnetization in the wide side arm in the vortex
state [Fig. 7.2 (e)]. The magnetization at the position of the line-scan looks
very similar to the undisturbed vortex. Therefore the details of the magne-
tization conguration in the wide side arm cannot be directly inferred from
a line scan hysteresis.
132
Chapter 7. Vortex Circulation Control
and Mode Spectrum of Asymmetric Rings
To gain more understanding of the quasistatic magnetization of asym-
metric rings, micromagnetic simulations were performed for two ring ge-
ometries with 20 nm thickness and 2 m outer diameter. The simulation
geometries are (a) rings with an inner hole diameter d
i
= 500 nm and an o-
set of the hole of a = 300 nm (AR1) and (b) rings with inner hole diameter
d
i
= 700 nm and oset a = 200 nm (AR2).
The simulation results for AR1 are shown in Fig. 7.3. Panels (a)-(h) show
snapshots during the reversal. The simulation predicts a domain wall prop-
agation process for the transition from onion to vortex state. The domains
at the chosen parameters are transverse walls. For such walls a geometric
constriction acts like a potential well [Kla03c, Bru99]. Therefore both walls
are attracted by the narrow ring half [see Fig. 7.3 (b)-(d)] where they collide
and annihilate. The simulation predicts therefore a counterclockwise vortex.
The reader should note an important dierence with respect to the be-
havior of symmetric rings. In the latter both domain walls rotate with the
same turning sense, one usually being less strongly pinned than the other
(see for example Ch. 5, Sec. 5.2). Due to the symmetry of the ring the
turning sense is arbitrary. In the case of the asymmetry presented in Fig.
7.3 the domain walls propagate with opposite turning senses, the right wall
counterclockwise, the left wall clockwise, because a geometric constriction
is energetically favorable for transverse walls. This feature implies that the
asymmetry always causes a particular vortex circulation direction. Even if
the walls are asymmetrically pinned their propagation direction would be
along the narrow ring arm. This leads to a counterclockwise vortex circu-
lation direction if the rings come from positive saturation and a clockwise
vortex if the rings come from negative saturation.
Consider Fig. 7.4 for the computation of magnetization states for the
asymmetric ring with bigger inner hole (AR2). For this ring structure the
calculation predicts the formation of one vortex wall [left wall in (b) and
(c)] and one transverse wall. Vortex walls can only form in wide and thick
enough structures. A narrow geometrical constriction costs a lot of exchange
energy and a thin structure costs a lot of stray eld energy due to the out-
of-plane component at the vortex core. The propagation of the vortex wall
along the narrow ring arm would be energetically unfavorable because of
the additional cost in exchange energy due to the compression of the vortex
core. Consistently, we see just the beginning of the propagation of the vortex
wall around the wider ring arm [in (c) the vortex wall extends a little bit
further towards the wide ring arm than in (b)] from which we conclude that
the vortex wall is less strongly pinned and propagates around the wider ring
arm to form a clockwise vortex.
7.1. Magnetostatic Characterization 133
-75 -50 -25 0 25 50 75
-1.0
-0.5
0.0
0.5
1.0
f
e
d
c
b
a


M
x
/
M
S

0
H (mT)
a) b) c)
e) f)
d)
g)
+H
FIG. 7.4: Micromagnetic simulation of the magnetization reversal of an asymmetric ring
with d
i
= 1400 nm, oset a = 200 nm, outer diameter D
o
= 2.0 m and t = 20 nm.
(a)-(h) are snapshots during reversal. The magnetic elds are indicated in the hysteresis
curve (i). The grey scale encodes the x-component of magnetization. Contrary to Fig. 7.3
a vortex wall forms [left domain wall in (b) and (c)] which propagates around the lower
ring arm and forms a clockwise vortex.
However, it strikes us as surprising that in this calculation the two do-
main walls should be dierent. There is no obvious reason, why not two
vortex walls or two transverse walls are present, and we nd it very likely
that in real nanomagnets only one type of wall is present, though we can
not rule out the result of this calculation. Let us therefore consider 20 nm
as a threshold thickness and take also into account the appearance of equal
types of domain walls, which leads to three cases:
1. mixed case: The mixed case - one vortex and one transverse wall - leads
in this calculation to the formation of a clockwise vortex, because the
vortex wall starts to propagate rst and because it has to propagate
along the wider ring arm (the wider arm switches). Since it is en-
ergetically favorable for the transverse wall to move along the narrow
arm, the vortex circulation direction would be counterclockwise if the
transverse wall propagated rst. Which of the two walls depins rst
is hardly predictable. The pinning potential for the two walls might
again depend on the microscopic details of a ring, which would entail
an unpredictable distribution of vortex circulation directions in a large
134
Chapter 7. Vortex Circulation Control
and Mode Spectrum of Asymmetric Rings
array.
2. vortex walls: If two vortex walls were present in the asymmetric ring
both would propagate around the wider ring arm. Therefore, starting
from positive saturation as in Fig. 7.4 a clockwise vortex is expected,
irrespective of dierent pinning potentials for the two domain walls. In
a large array all rings will show the same clockwise circulation direction
in this case.
3. transverse walls: In the presence of two transverse walls the situation
of the asymmetric ring AR1 is recovered; both transverse walls propa-
gate around the narrower ring arm. This reversal mechanism is again
independent of which wall depins rst and one nds the same vortex
circulation direction for any ring in a large array.
The three scenarios might be distinguishable in the experiment. We em-
phasize that the experimentally determined thickness of our rings is 35 nm
versus 20 nm in the simulations, which favors vortex walls. We note that
we have performed micromagnetic simulations with geometrical parameters
only similar not identical to the measured ones.
2
For AR0502 at some lim-
ited eld values we have used identical parameters. The simulation predicted
two vortex domain walls. However, the vortex circulation direction of the
simulation depended on the eld step width. The simulation result was not
unique here. This indicates that whether the narrow ring arm is an energet-
ically unfavorable path for a vortex domain wall is a complex question. It
should nonetheless be remembered that vortex domain walls are predicted
by the simulation at the experimental thickness of 35 nm.
Note that in all cases in which the vortex circulation is controllable, the
circulation direction of the vortex depends on the direction of the precedent
onion state. We have discussed here the case of a positive onion state. The
corresponding negative onion state would in each of the previous cases lead
to the corresponding opposite vortex circulation direction.
7.2 Mode Spectrum of Asymmetric Rings
In Fig. 7.5 we present the high frequency absorption of two arrays of asym-
metric rings. The eld was applied in the direction perpendicular to the
oset as in the previous MFM measurements and simulations. The positive
eld direction is dened as pointing to the right, when the narrow ring arm
2
The simulations were performed before the samples were fabricated.
7.2. Mode Spectrum of Asymmetric Rings 135
0 5 10 15 20


a
b
s
o
r
p
t
i
o
n


(
a
r
b
.

u
n
i
t
s
)
frequency f (GHz)

0
H = 89 mT
(c)
A1
A2
B
C
B
C
A2


a
b
s
o
r
p
t
i
o
n


(
a
r
b
.

u
n
i
t
s
)
(a)
A1
A1
A2
C
B
A1
A2
C
B

-75 -50 -25 0 25 50 75
4
8
12
16

0
H (mT)
f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f

(
G
H
z
)
(d)
4
8
12
16



f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f

(
G
H
z
)
(b)
*
FIG. 7.5: (a) Spectrum of AR0303 at an applied eld of 89 mT. Three peaks are clearly
visible, labelled A1, A2, and B. A fourth peak C is seen as a shoulder of peak B (see
arrow). It becomes more clearly separated from B at lower magnetic elds [see (b)]. (b)
Grey scale graph of the down-sweep of the magnetic eld dispersion of AR0303 (the labels
are repeated on the right hand side). Black: strong absorption, white: no absorption. (c)
and (d) are the same for AR0502. The same set of peaks is found but they are at higher
frequencies (except mode B) and more clearly separated.
is on top and the wider arm at the bottom (as in the MFM measurement).
In panels (a) and (b) a single spectrum at
0
H = +89 mT and the full
magnetic eld dispersion for sample AR0303 is shown, respectively. We can
clearly distinguish three peaks, labelled A1, A2, and B. A fourth peak C is
seen as a shoulder of peak B. They become more clearly separated as the
external eld is decreased, as clearly seen in panel (b). All four modes de-
crease as the external eld is decreased. Mode B vanishes at around 12 mT
and reappears at approximately 25 mT. The strongest mode (A2) van-
ishes at 0 mT and reappears at 10 mT. Between 10 and 20 mT mode
A2 exhibits a smaller slope than for elds lower than 20 mT where the
slope again agrees with the slope at positive high elds (marked by *). The
satellite mode labelled C runs parallel to mode A2. At positive eld values
it disappears around the same value as mode B but it reappears at smaller
136
Chapter 7. Vortex Circulation Control
and Mode Spectrum of Asymmetric Rings
negative eld values. It therefore seems to be a satellite mode to the main
mode A2 rather than the to lowest mode B. The dispersion of the highest
mode A1 is atter than the others. At 0 mT where mode A2 disappears it
broadens considerably and the dispersions slope becomes even atter than
before. This mode persists up to a negative eld of 18 mT. At 20 mT
a jump occurs for mode A1 and it is symmetric to the positive eld part
from that eld H
sw
on. This jump coincides with the inection point of
mode A2 at 20 mT. It is marked with an asterisk in Fig. 7.5 (b).
In the single spectrum of sample AR0502 in Fig. 7.5 (c) the four modes
(A1, A2, B, C) are again well resolved. The magnetic eld dispersions
discussed above are found to be characteristic for asymmetric rings since
the behavior of sample AR0502 shown in Fig. 7.5 (d) is similar compared
to sample AR0303 shown in (b). The strongest mode A2 of this ring array
can be resolved down to 8mT where a jump of 1.2 GHz takes place. It
has a negative slope between 0 and 8mT. The adjacent satellite mode C
follows mode A2 closely to around +20 mT, disappears and reappears at
23 mT. The highest mode A1 again persists longest, down to 33 mT
where it nearly touches mode A2. There is a jump at this eld from which
on the mode regains a positive slope and is symmetric to the positive eld
side. If one compares the resonance frequencies of AR0502 and AR0303 at
89 mT [Fig. 7.5 (a) and (c)] one nds that for AR0502 modes A1, A2, and C
are higher and mode B is lower than their counterparts in sample AR0303.
For the interpretation of these mode spectra recall the spectra found for
narrow symmetric rings. In that case we observed a strong high frequency
mode, which we could show is located in the ring side arms parallel to the
applied eld (see Chapter 6, Section 6.3) We found a second prominent
low frequency mode which behaved like a hard axis mode judging from the
ring width dependence (Ch. 6, Sec. 6.3) but which did not show a hard
axis character in angle-resolved measurements (same chapter Sec 6.3.2). We
assigned this mode to the ring heads and tails. Additionally several satellite
modes were observed in narrow rings.
The important dierence between symmetric and asymmetric rings is
that now the mode frequencies of modes located in both side arms are no
longer degenerate. The dynamic demagnetizing eld created in the narrow
side arms is stronger than in the wide arm. This will increase the precessional
frequency of the narrow side arm compared to the wide one.
This frequency degeneracy can be used to explain the existence of two
pronounced high frequency modes (A1 and A2) in the spectra of asymmetric
rings. The strongest mode A2 is located in the wider side arm, because it
has a lower frequency than mode A1. Additionally, its absorption is stronger
7.2. Mode Spectrum of Asymmetric Rings 137
-75 -50 -25 0 25 50 75
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
-75 -50 -25 0 25 50 75
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14

f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f


(
G
H
z
)

0
H (mT)
A1
A2
B
w1=360 nm
w2=1010 nm (a) AR0303
V

f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f


(
G
H
z
)

0
H (mT)
A1
A2
B
w1=250 nm
w2=685 nm (b) AR0502
V
FIG. 7.6: (a) Dispersion of the down sweep for AR0303 (lled symbols) and calculated
resonance frequencies for the two side arms with the wire model Eq. 6.9 (light grey lines).
(b) Same as (a) for AR0502. In (a) and (b) modes C have been omitted for clarity. The
region labelled V is assigned to the vortex state.
because the number of precessing spins is larger in the case of mode A2 due
to the larger width of this side arm. Mode A1 is located in the smaller
side arm, which explains its higher frequency and its smaller absorption.
The lowest mode B in Fig. 7.5 resembles strongly the hard axis mode: it
has the lowest frequency, the strongest curvature, and disappears in a eld
range around zero applied eld. Despite the decentered inner hole, the ring
heads and tails are not expected to split. Consistently we observe only one
hard-axis mode. This line of thought shows that introducing a decentered
inner hole can indeed yield to some degree information about local ring
dynamics.
To further substantiate this point of view we have applied the wire model
developed in Ch. 6 to calculate the dispersion for the two asymmetric ring
arrays. The model assumes that the modes are localized in the ring side arms
and that these side arms can phenomenologically be modelled as innitely
long wires with a transverse demagnetizing factor 2t/w. From AFM and
SEM we extracted the width of the side arms. For AR0303 we obtain w
A1
=
370 nm and w
A2
= 1010 nm. For AR0502 we get w
A1
= 250 nm and w
A2
=
655 nm. The error is 20 nm. As further parameter we use M = 1.25 T,
which is typical for our evaporation system (literature value 1.08 T) and
= 176 GHz/T. The results of the calculation according to Eq. 6.9 are
shown in Fig. 7.6 (a) for AR0303 and (b) for AR0502 as light grey lines.
The wire model again yields good agreement to the experimental data if we
138
Chapter 7. Vortex Circulation Control
and Mode Spectrum of Asymmetric Rings
slightly adjust the widths as indicated in the gure. The deviation from
the measured widths is less than 5%. The good correspondence between
the modelling and the data corroborates our interpretation that the modes
A1 and A2 are located in the narrow and wide side arms of the asymmetric
rings, respectively.
7.3 Evidence for Vortex Circulation Control
Let us now turn to the low eld data. In sample AR0303 [Fig. 7.6 (a)] the
strongest mode A2 vanishes at around 0 mT and reappears at 10 mT with
a positive dispersion in the down sweep. The same holds true for the up-
sweep with reversed signs (not shown). Mode A1, on the contrary, is visible
from 0 mT down to 18 mT with a negative dispersion followed by a jump
at 23 mT. The interval between 0 mT and 23 mT is interpreted to be
the vortex state of the asymmetric rings and the jumps of the two modes are
interpreted to be the onion to vortex and vortex to reversed onion transition,
respectively. For clarity we have indicated the vortex region in Fig. 7.6.
Further reasons corroborate this view. First, the MFM line scan hysteresis
for AR0303 showed a transition into a low magnetic contrast state at 0 mT
and a second transition at around 20 3 mT into a state with pronounced
reversed magnetic contrast.
Second, let us remember how the mode spectrum of symmetric rings
looked like (e.g. Fig. 6.4). Here, a mode splitting of the higher lying main
mode occurred which was interpreted to be the onion to vortex transition. In
particular the magnetic eld dispersion had dierent signs for both branches.
We put forward the argument that one half of the ring side arms switches to
an orientation parallel to the applied eld, while the other half of the side
arms remained antiparallel. The intensity of the high frequency main mode
was approximately halved in the vortex state region with mode splitting
and doubled when the mode with the negative dispersion attributed to the
antiparallel side arms vanished. The interpretation was that the antiparallel
halves reversed at this eld value.
In the case of asymmetric rings the ring arms are no longer frequency
degenerate due to the dierent side arm widths, as we have shown in the
previous section. In Fig. 7.6 the resonance peak of the wider arm with lower
resonance frequency vanishes at 0 mT when the rings switch to the vortex
state, while the narrower side arm remains in the antiparallel orientation
with respect to the external eld. This can be seen because of its negative
dispersion in the interval [0 mT, 23 mT]. This is the salient point in the
7.3. Evidence for Vortex Circulation Control 139
-80 -60 -40 -20 0 20 40 60 80
4
6
8
10
12
14
f
A1
p


f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f

(
G
H
Z
)

0
H (mT)
f
A1
a
f
A2
p
f
A2
a
A1
A2
f
A1
p
f
A1
a
f
A2
a
f
A2
p
FIG. 7.7: Hypothetical dispersion (down-sweep) of modes A1 and A2 for the sample
AR0502: If there were rings with clockwise and counterclockwise vortex states, as sketched
on the right of the graph, there would also be a distribution of parallel and antiparallel
aligned side arms. This would lead to a mode splitting of modes A and B with frequencies
(f
A1
p
, f
A2
p
) and (f
A1
a
, f
A2
a
), respectively. The frequencies f
A1
p
and f
A2
a
would have a
positive and negative dispersion, respectively. This is shown as dashed light grey lines.
These branches are not observed in our experiment, neither for AR0502 nor for AR0303.
argumentation that allows us to determine the vortex circulation direction:
In the vortex state the narrow side arm is antiparallel and the wide side
arm is parallel to the external eld, which means that a clockwise vortex is
present in the down-sweep presented in Fig. 7.6 (a).
The same behavior is found for AR0502 and is even more pronounced
for this sample. At 8 mT mode A2 switches rst to a mode with positive
dispersion with the frequency f
A2
p
in Fig. 7.6 (b). The absorption intensity
stays at a constant level. Mode A1 shows only a branch with frequency
f
A1
a
and negative dispersion. This means that also in AR0502 the rings rst
switch their wide ring arms while the narrow arms rest in the antiparallel
conguration. At the transition from vortex to reverse onion also the narrow
side arms switch from antiparallel to parallel orientation with respect to the
external eld. This is just the conguration of a vortex with clockwise
circulation direction.
What can we say about the distribution of vortex circulation directions?
The idea of the following argumentation is sketched in Fig. 7.7 for AR0502.
If there were rings which are in a counterclockwise vortex their wide side
arms would be aligned antiparallel to the external eld up until these rings
140
Chapter 7. Vortex Circulation Control
and Mode Spectrum of Asymmetric Rings
switch to the reverse onion state. We know from the study of symmetric
rings in Ch. 6 that the vortex conguration entails a mode splitting into a
mode with positive dispersion due to the parallel side arm, the frequency of
which we had labelled f
p
, and a mode with negative dispersion due to the
antiparallel side arm, labelled f
a
. But one clearly does not observe a mode
splitting of mode A2 with a branch with negative dispersion f
A2
a
[compare
Fig. 7.5 (d) and Fig. 7.7]. The rings with counterclockwise vortex would
also have their narrow side arms point parallel to the external eld in the
vortex state coming from positive saturation, which means that we would
also expect a mode splitting of mode A1 and one branch f
A1
p
with a positive
dispersion (Fig. 7.7) due to the parallel side arms. Again this behavior is
not found in the experimental dispersion Fig. 7.5 (b). Neither mode A1 nor
mode A2 show a splitting within the accuracy of our setup. We detect only
two modes with frequencies f
A1
a
and f
A2
p
instead of four modes in the vortex
region.
Since our setup does not yet have single nanomagnet sensitivity we can-
not be sure that strictly all rings are in the same clockwise vortex. There
might be a number of rings smaller than the detection threshold N
th
that
are in a counterclockwise vortex. In the following we estimate the detection
threshold number of rings of our setup. We have investigated an array with
135 rings with width w = 300 nm, thickness t = 33 nm, and a similar satu-
ration magnetization M = 1.36 T. The strongest mode had a signal to noise
ratio of roughly 10 : 1 (not shown). This means in that experiment we could
still detect N
th
15 rings. Because the sample parameters are very similar
we can apply this result to the present samples: Out of an array of 750 rings
in AR0303 less than around 15 rings are in a counterclockwise vortex or in
other words more than 97% of the array show the same vortex circulation
direction.
As a second estimate of the number of rings in a certain vortex state we
compare the absorption amplitudes of symmetric and asymmetric rings. The
idea behind this comparison is the following: The absorption amplitude of
a particular mode is proportional to the number of spins that contribute to
the absorption of that mode. For instance, if all asymmetric rings show the
same clockwise vortex circulation direction the amplitude of the antiparallel
narrow arm mode f
A1
a
is 1. If one half of the rings shows a clockwise and
the other half a counterclockwise circulation direction then the absorption
amplitude of the antiparallel narrow arm mode f
A1
a
should be 0.5 and so
on. Comparing the absorption amplitude with the onion state, in which
all narrow and all wide arms point in the same direction could serve as a
measure for the number of arms contributing to a mode. Unfortunately
7.3. Evidence for Vortex Circulation Control 141
-75 -50 -25 0 25 50 75
0.0
0.5
1.0
1.5
2.0
-75 -50 -25 0 25 50 75
0.0
0.5
1.0
1.5
2.0
2.5
3.0
(b)


n
o
r
m
a
l
i
z
e
d

a
b
s
o
r
b
t
i
o
n

(
a
r
b
.

u
n
i
t
s
)

0
H (mT)
AR0303 A1
22%
(a)
single arm throughout
Vortex
one arm level
sum of
two arms


n
o
r
m
a
l
i
z
e
d

a
b
s
o
r
p
t
i
o
n

(
a
r
b
.

u
n
i
t
s
)

0
H (mT)
symmetric ring w=300 nm
sum of
two arms
25%
two single
arms
Vortex
FIG. 7.8: Normalized absorption as a function of applied eld for (a) AR0303 and (b)
a ring array with symmetric 300 nm wide rings. The amplitude of the resonance peaks
is normalized to the absorption amplitude of a single ring arm in the onion state. On
top of the graphs we show schematically and strongly simplied for clarity the absorption
amplitude of one ring arm as a function of the external eld.
the absorption amplitude will depend on other factors, for example due to
the vortex self-biasing we cannot expect the absorption amplitudes of the
narrow arm in the onion state and the vortex state to be equal, even if all
rings of the array have the same vortex circulation direction. Therefore we
use the change of absorption amplitude between onion and vortex state of
symmetric rings as a gauge. In an array of symmetric rings in the vortex
state there is an equal number of parallel side arms and antiparallel side
arms. Dierences between onion and vortex state absorption amplitudes
cannot be due to the distribution of vortex circulation directions.
Now consider the experimental data of the 300 nm wide ring array from
batch #1. The absorption amplitude of symmetric rings in Fig. 7.8 (b) is
relatively constant as long as the rings are in the onion state. We intend
to normalize the absorption amplitude of one ring arm to one, therefore we
set this constant level to two, as two ring arms contribute. When the rings
enter the vortex state there is not a sudden jump. We observe a slow rise
and then a steep drop of the amplitude (black circles) until the rings switch
back to the reverse onion state at 26 mT and this mode vanishes. It is
important that in the vortex state there are two modes and that we can
distinguish between the parallel and antiparallel side arms. The amplitude
does not drop to one half of the level of the onion state. This means that
142
Chapter 7. Vortex Circulation Control
and Mode Spectrum of Asymmetric Rings
the absorption amplitude of a single ring arm in the vortex state is higher
than in the onion state. The amplitude of the second mode (empty squares)
sets in at 6 mT. This is the mode we attribute to the parallel ring arm.
When the ring switches to the reverse onion there is a clear jump because the
antiparallel ring arms in the array also switch to the parallel orientation with
respect to the eld. We use this jump height as a gauge for the dierence
of absorption amplitudes of one ring arm in the onion and vortex states:
The jump is from 1.25 to 2. But the level of the onion state is two because
two ring arms contribute. Therefore the absorption amplitude dierence
between onion state and vortex state of a single ring arm is 25%.
The absorption amplitude of the narrow ring arms in the asymmetric ring
array AR0303 is shown in Fig. 7.8 (a). We can observe a gradual change of
the absorption amplitude in the onion regime from high elds to zero. There
is a jump to a plateau value when the rings switch to the vortex state. The
jump is 22% so somewhat less than the upper limit of 25% inferred from
symmetric rings. From this we can estimate that the fraction of rings with
narrow arms antiparallel to the applied eld (clockwise vortex) N
a
is given
by
N
a
N
tot
=
A
V
asym
A
V
sym
=
1.22
1.25
= 97.6%. (7.1)
This estimate is nearly exactly the same as the estimate from the signal
strength. It is of course only a rough estimate since we do not have clear
plateau values and the denition of the jump heights is not very accurate.
But it shows that around 97% of asymmetric rings in the array exhibit the
same vortex circulation direction.
If we compare these experimental ndings to the predictions of the mi-
cromagnetic calculations we note that there is a discrepancy. For the array
AR1, which is taken to be similar to AR0303, a switching of the narrow side
arm was predicted which produces a counterclockwise vortex, contrary to
the experiment. The simulation resulted in transverse walls for which the
narrow arm is the energetically favorite propagation path. But it has been
emphasized that the samples are thicker than assumed in the calculation,
namely t
exp
= 35 nm versus 20 nm in the simulation. Even at 20 nm a
vortex domain wall was energetically possible [Fig. 7.4]. The discrepancy
of the circulation directions is most likely due to the dierent types of do-
main walls in the calculation and the experiment and can be explained if
we assume that with our geometric parameters the narrow side arm is a
prohibited propagation path for a vortex domain wall (as seen for example
7.4. Minor Loops and Angular Dependence 143
in Fig. 7.4). Further investigations are needed for an understanding of the
reversal mechanism and type of domain walls in asymmetric rings but it
is possible to conclude from our high-frequency measurements that in the
present experimental ring arrays the domain walls are vortex walls which
may only propagate around the wider ring arms leading to clockwise vortex
states when we come from positive saturation.
We nally remark that when we investigate the up-sweep from 90 mT
to +90 mT the dispersion of modes A and B show the same behavior as in
the down-sweep. We only observe modes with frequencies f
A1
a
and f
A2
p
for
both sample arrays (not shown), i.e. the wider ring arms switch. This is to
be expected since the type of domain wall present determines the circulation
direction. But the type of domain wall in the onion state cannot depend on
the direction of the external eld. This observation means that by starting
at negative saturation, we can manipulate the array such that more than
97% are in a counterclockwise vortex. The initial direction of the applied
eld indeed chooses the vortex circulation direction, and both circulation
directions can be controllably chosen by the external eld.
7.4 Minor Loops and Angular Dependence
In this section we present further experimental evidence for the characteris-
tic spin-congurations deduced from the high frequency absorption. Before
recording absorption spectra we have applied a eld sequence with the aim
of preparing the rings in certain spin-congurations. This technique was
already applied to symmetric rings in Ch. 6. In Fig. 7.9 (a) we show mea-
surements on the sample with the smaller inner hole, AR0303. We have
applied the eld sequence
0
H
1
= 90 mT,
0
H
2
= 20 mT before the mea-
surement of each data point (empty symbols). H
2
is chosen such that it lies
just below the jump eld of mode A1. We have included the down-sweep
data as grey symbols (Note that we have omitted the satellite mode C for
clarity). We make the following observations. Mode A1 behaves just as in
the down-sweep under the applied eld sequence, since the irreversible jump
of mode A1 lies outside the eld range [+90 mT, 20 mT]. In the minor
loop mode A2 is traceable in the range 20 mT to +3 mT where a jump
takes place. Between zero and the jump it has a negative dispersion. In
the down-sweep we cannot resolve mode A2 between 5 mT and +3 mT.
Mode B, although clearly visible between 16.5 mT and 90 mT in the down-
sweep, does not reappear until +34 mT. Note that in the down-sweep on
the negative eld side it does not reappear below 31 mT, either.
144
Chapter 7. Vortex Circulation Control
and Mode Spectrum of Asymmetric Rings
-75 -50 -25 0 25 50 75
2
4
6
8
10
12
-75 -50 -25 0 25 50 75
2
4
6
8
10
12
8 mT
(b)


f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f

(
G
H
z
)

0
H (mT)
(a)
A1
A2
B


f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f

(
G
H
z
)

0
H (mT)

0
H'
2
= -5 mT H
1
H
1

0
H
2
= -20 mT
A1
A2
B
FIG. 7.9: Minor loops performed on the sample AR0303. In (a) we applied a magnetic
eld history of
0
H
1
= 90 mT and
0
H
2
= 20 mT before recording each of the data
points (empty symbols). We also show the down-sweep data (lled grey symbols). For
clarity we have again omitted the satellite mode C. Note that mode B retains the negative
dispersion up to +3 mT. Also note that mode D does not reappear until
0
H = +34 mT
although it is traceable down to 16.5 mT in the down-sweep. In the case presented in
panel (b) we applied
0
H

2
= 5 mT.
In panel (b) a dierent eld sequence is used: After saturation we applied

0
H

2
= 5 mT, chosen to lie just below the reappearance of mode B.
As with eld sequence (a) mode A1 is identical to the down-sweep data.
Mode A2 cannot be resolved below +8 mT. In the down-sweep data the
reappearance eld is 10 mT. Above 8 mT mode A2 behaves as in the
down-sweep. Mode B is not visible up to 26 mT, which is consistent with
the minor loop in (a).
We put forward the following interpretation of this behavior: When we
apply 20 mT to the positively saturated rings, the wide side arms switch
and the clockwise vortex state forms. In this state the alignment of the
wide side arms is stabilized even when the eld is increased back to positive
values until +8 mT. At this eld the wide ring arms switch back. In Fig.
7.9 (b) we can make the surprising observation that when the minor loop
starts at a eld below the reappearance of mode A2 at H = 5 mT, mode
A2 remains invisible up to 8 mT. The following up-sweep is identical to the
down-sweep. This might be indicative that the transition from onion to
vortex in the asymmetric rings is more complicated than the simple domain
wall propagation transition, involving some bending of the wide side arms.
If bending is involved this might be an additional reason for the discrepancy
7.4. Minor Loops and Angular Dependence 145
-75 -50 -25 0 25 50 75
4
6
8
10
12
14
-75 -50 -25 0 25 50 75
4
6
8
10
12
14

0
H
2
= - 24.8 mT
0
H'
2
= -15 mT H
1


f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f

(
G
H
z
)

0
H (mT)
(b) AR0502
H
1
A1
A2
C
B


f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f

(
G
H
z
)

0
H (mT)
(a) AR0502
A2
C
B
A1
FIG. 7.10: (a) Minor Loop with eld sequence
0
H
1
= 90 mT
0
H
2
= 24.8 mT.
The narrow ring arms (mode A1) have not yet switched. Mode A2 is switched back and
forth in this minor loop. (b) If the sequence
0
H
1
= 90 mT
0
H
2
= 14.8 mT is
applied the same situation as in (a) is encountered. Grey symbols in both panels is the
down-sweep dispersion data.
of measured and simulated vortex circulation directions.
The minor loops of AR0502 show a behavior analogous to AR0303. In
Fig. 7.10 (a) we applied the eld sequence
0
H
1
= 90 mT
0
H
2
=
24.8 mT. The narrow arm (mode A1) has not switched and coincides with
the data from the down-sweep (grey symbols). Mode A2 on the contrary fol-
lows the data from the up-sweep (not shown) until 12 mT where it reverses
back to the initial state. This behavior is consistent with the assumption
of the rings being in the vortex state in the eld range from -24.8 mT to
+12 mT in the two presented minor loops. Note also the absence of mode
splitting for modes A1 and A2 in the minor loops of both samples, which is
consistent with our interpretation of a uniform vortex circulation direction
in the array.
In addition to the minor loops we have investigated the angular depen-
dence at +90.3 mT and at 6.6 mT of AR0303, which is shown in Fig.
7.11 (a) and (b), respectively. In the saturated state the side arm modes
A1 (black circles) and A2 (empty circles) display a 180

symmetry with
maxima at 0

and 180

. The same symmetry was found for side arm modes


of symmetric rings in the saturated state [Fig. 6.11 (a) and (b)]. Again we
can distinguish between both side arms because their resonance frequencies
are clearly separated. Mode B shows a fourfold rotational symmetry and a
146
Chapter 7. Vortex Circulation Control
and Mode Spectrum of Asymmetric Rings
0 60 120 180 240 300 360
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
0 60 120 180 240 300 360
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
B
A2

0
H = 90.3 mT


f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f


(
G
H
z
)
angle ()
(a)
A1
=0

angle ()

f
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

f


(
G
H
z
)

(b)

H
|
0
H |=6.6 mT
A1
A2
A1
FIG. 7.11: Angular dependence of resonance modes of AR0303 (a) at 91 mT. Modes
A1 and A2 show the same symmetry as symmetric rings in the saturated state [Fig. 6.11
(a) and (b)]. Interestingly, mode B shows a fourfold symmetry and satellites that are
resolved at angles away from (0

, 180

. . .). (b) Angular dependence of the vortex state


at 6.6 mT. Only mode A1 can be resolved. It shows the 360

symmetry encountered for


the antiparallel side arms of symmetric rings in the vortex [Fig. 6.11 (c) and (d)]. Inset
to (b) shows the geometry of the measurement and a micromagnetic calculation of the
clockwise vortex. Note that = 0

points to the left because the eld is negative. Mode


C is not shown for clarity.
satellite mode that merges with mode B around n 90

, (n = 0, 1, . . .), but
is clearly separated in between. Mode C is not shown. We nd an angle
regime around 90

and 270

where the modes vanish. This is characteristic


for the onion and saturated states.
In panel (b) a eld sequence is applied that prepares the ring array in
the vortex state at 6.6 mT. The only mode we can reliably resolve is mode
A1. We identify mode A1 by its resonance frequency at = 0

. It shows a
360

symmetry. This was encountered in symmetric rings in the vortex state


[Fig. 6.11 (c) and (d)]. We had concluded earlier from the magnetic eld
dispersion that the narrow side arms do not switch but remain antiparallel
to the applied eld. The fact that the resonance frequency of mode A1
f
A1
() shows minima at 0

and 360

and a maximum at 180

is consistent
with this interpretation of the dispersion data: The narrow ring arm and
the applied eld are parallel at = 180

, maximizing the internal eld in


the narrow side arm, while they are antiparallel at 0

and 360

minimizing
the internal eld in the side arms.
7.4. Minor Loops and Angular Dependence 147
In conclusion, we have measured the absorption spectra of two asymmet-
ric ring samples with dierent asymmetries. Their absorption spectra can
be explained consistently with the mode localization picture. The dierent
widths of the side arms lift the frequency degeneracy. This allows us to deter-
mine the absolute vortex circulation direction. Experimental evidence was
presented that more than 97% of the rings exhibit the same vortex circula-
tion direction. Minor loops and the measurement of the angular dependence
corroborate this view. The vortex circulation direction can be chosen by the
initial saturating eld direction. The uniform vortex circulation direction is
explained by the energetics of domain wall propagation along the side arms.
Micromagnetic simulations are not decisive in the considered cases, so that
more calculations are desirable. For the circulation found experimentally in
the asymmetric ring arrays vortex domain walls have to be assumed, which
is consistent with the thickness of 35 nm of the rings.
Chapter 8
Summary and Outlook
In this thesis we have successfully measured the magnetization dynamics in
nanostructured rectangular and ring-shaped permalloy elements.
We have constructed a broadband spectrometer for the detection of mag-
netization dynamics with a sensitivity high enough for investigations of ferro-
magnetic lms and microstructured elements. The spectrometer works with
inductive detection in the frequency domain between 45 MHz and 20 GHz
and in the time domain with a time resolution of 2 ps. Waveguides have
been designed and optimized for our investigations. We could apply static
in-plane elds of up to 100 mT which can also be rotated to perform angle
resolved measurements.
In rectangular permalloy elements we have detected quantized dipolar
spin wave modes in the frequency domain up to order n = 4. In the time
domain we found only the dominant mode but no higher order modes. We
could explain the magnetic eld dispersion of these modes well in the frame-
work of the dipole-exchange theory. It was shown that only modes sym-
metric with respect to the in-plane coordinates can be excited and detected
inductively by micron-sized waveguides. The description of the observed
modes was very good with the assumption of dipolar pinning at the bound-
aries and a dipolar mode localization at the element center, with localization
length of the order of 50%-70% of the element length. Additionally we have
detected an exchange dominated spin wave mode at low frequency which is
localized at the longitudinal edges of the rectangular elements due to a spin
wave well, which forms due to the internal eld inhomogeneity.
We have investigated ring arrays with magnetic force microscopy We
have seen that they exhibit two characteristic magnetization congurations,
the onion and the vortex state. We found evidence from micromagnetic
148
149
simulations and magnetic force microscopy that the switching process from
onion to vortex state is a domain wall propagation process.
We have furthermore systematically investigated the magnetization dy-
namics of nanostructured permalloy rings over a wide range of geometrical
parameters. The high frequency behavior of these rings could be shown to be
largely inuenced by their magnetization congurations. All rings showed
several characteristic high frequency modes. We have demonstrated that by
controlling the magnetization states of the rings through an external eld
the magnetization dynamics could be controlled. The magnetic eld depen-
dence and angular dependence of the main modes of narrow rings could be
quantitatively described by a phenomenological wire model developed in this
thesis. The model could also account for the width dependence of the mode
frequencies at high elds. We concluded from these experimental ndings
that in the high eld regime modes are localized in dierent ring segments.
This observation was corroborated by micromagnetic simulations. The the-
ory of rectangles could be successfully extended to this situation to explain
the mode localization. Due to the internal eld variation there is only a
limited spatial region in which the wave can propagate. Outside this region
there are no real wave vectors and a spin wave cannot exist (is damped out
quickly). The theory of rectangles is applicable with very satisfying results
because the internal eld prole in the side arms of rings is similar to the
internal eld inhomogeneity encountered in rectangular elements. Since the
localization length in narrow rings are on the order of 700 nm the curvature
of the ring does not exert a strong inuence on the modes localized in the
side arms. This explains why the phenomenological wire model yields such
good results despite its simplifying assumptions.
In the low eld regime we could observe double switching of narrow
rings, from onion to vortex and to reverse onion state, and triple switching
involving additionally a vortex core in wide rings. In some ring samples
the eect of the stray eld of the onion state led to a clear step in the
resonance frequencies of modes at the transitions to the vortex state (vortex
self-biasing). A clear mode discretization has been observed in the vortex
state for the rst time in a ring array with a width of nominally w = 600 nm.
The modes exhibiting the discrete steps seems to be located in that ring arm
which is stabilized in the antiparallel direction with respect to the external
eld. The appearance is that of a stair-case magnetic eld dispersion, similar
to the stair-case wave vector dispersion shape found in BLS investigations
on micron sized magnetic wires. First micromagnetic simulations indicate
that the mode in the antiparallel ring arm might be only weakly localized
and extend around the ring arm as a standing wave pattern. This would be
150 Chapter 8. Summary and Outlook
a natural situation for mode discretization to occur, because the wavelength
has to match the circumference of the ring. The mode in the parallel ring arm
has a much shorter wavelength so that here one might be in the continuum
limit. This exciting observation needs further clarication.
In the last part of the thesis we have investigated asymmetric rings.
The asymmetry consisted of a decentered inner hole. The dierent width of
both side arms allowed us to clearly attribute modes to the narrow and wide
side arms. Therefore further insight into local spin dynamics was achieved.
The presented data showed evidence that all rings in large arrays have the
same vortex circulation direction. We could show that both circulation
directions can be chosen by the sign of the initial saturating eld. This
observation was attempted to be explained by the energetics of domain walls.
Depending on the wall type (vortex of transverse wall) it is energetically
favorable for the wall to propagate along the narrow or wide ring arm.
Micromagnetic simulations were performed but they could not predict the
circulation direction observed in the experiment. Further simulations are
needed for the explanation of the circulation direction.
Rings have turned out to be an intriguing object for the study of magne-
tization dynamics. There are some questions that arose in the course of this
thesis such as the quantization of the magnetic eld dispersion or the vortex
circulation direction in asymmetric rings which need further investigation.
Several other aspects have not even been touched upon. The large angle
regime and precessional switching might be investigated with our technique.
Several excitation eld geometries might be employed to excite dierent
modes. In particular out of plane excitation should be interesting as this is
the symmetry axis of rings. We have also seen rst experimental evidence of
switching eld reduction by the application of microwaves. This microwave
assisted switching was not presented here but will be further explored. Work
is under way to increase further the sensitivity of the set-up, for example
using Hall magnetometry or anisotropic magnetoresistance as a read-out.
This could very likely enable a single nanomagnet sensitivity with a whole
lot of new experimental possibilities. Here, we cite only nano-modication
with an atomic force microscope. During this thesis rst steps have been un-
dertaken for low temperature measurements which were already successful
for thin lms and are very promising for arrays of micromagnets. This opens
up the eld for high frequency investigations on semiconductor-ferromagnet
hybrid structures. Finally the set-up has been equipped with further wafer
probe positioners which will allow in the future the investigation of spin
wave radiation and propagation in ferromagnetic lms.
Appendix A
Demagnetizing Field of a
Transversely Magnetized
Wire
The static demagnetizing eld for a transversely magnetized wire is calcu-
lated. The geometry for the calculation is shown in Fig. A.1. The calculation
proceeds from the Eqs. 2.14 and 2.12, repeated here for convenience:
H
dm
=
1
4

r
_
dr


r
M(r

)
[r r[
. (A.1)
The magnetization in the wire has the form
M = M
S
e
y
_
(y

+
w
2
) (y

w
2
)
_
, (A.2)
where w is the wire width and (x) the Heaviside step function. The diver-
gence of the magnetization therefore becomes a delta function:

r
M = M
S

_
(y

+
w
2
) (y

w
2
)
_
= M
S
_
(y

+
w
2
) (y

w
2
)
_
(A.3)
The y-component of the demagnetizing eld is then
H
y
dm
=
M
S
4
___
_
(y

+
w
2
) (y

w
2
)
_
(y y

)
[(x x

)
2
+ (y y

)
2
+ (z z

)
2
]
3
2
dx

dy

dz

. (A.4)
Due to the Delta-function the y

integration can be carried out immediately


with the result
151
152 Chapter A. Demagnetizing Field of a Transversely Magnetized Wire

M
S
4
t/2
_
t/2

_
_
_
y +w/2
_
(x x

)
2
+ (y
w
2
)
2
+ (z z

)
2
3
2

y w/2
_
(x x

)
2
+ (y
w
2
)
2
+ (z z

)
2
3
2
_
_
_
dx

dz

. (A.5)
The x

integration can be carried out noting that [Bro91]

dx
(a
2
+x
2
)
3
2
=
x
a
2
(a
2
+x
2
)
1
2

=
=
1
a
2
lim
x

[x

[
1
_
1 +
a
2
x
2

1
a
2
lim
x

[x

[
1
_
1 +
a
2
x
2
=
2
a
2
. (A.6)
So after the x

integration we have
H
y
dm
(y, z) =
M
S
2
t/2
_
t/2
(y +
w
2
)
(z z

)
2
+ (y +
w
2
)
2
dz

+
M
S
2
t/2
_
t/2
(y
w
2
)
(z z

)
2
+ (y
w
2
)
2
dz

. (A.7)
As one expects due to the translational symmetry of the problem along the
wire, the demagnetizing eld is independent of x. The remaining integration
is of the form [Bro91]
_
a
a
2
+x
2
dx = arctan
_
x
a
_
(A.8)
and inserting the integration limits leads to
H
y
dm
(y, z) =
M
S
2
_
arctan
_
2z t
2y w
_
arctan
_
2z +t
2y w
_
arctan
_
2z t
2y +w
_
+ arctan
_
2z +t
2y +w
__
. (A.9)
153
-6
-3
0
3
6
-250
-200
-150
-100
-50
0
-100
-50
0
50
100
x
z
H
d
m

(
m
T
)
y
,

w
i
d
t
h

w

(
n
m
)
z
,

t
h
i
c
k
n
e
s
s

t

(
n
m
)
y
FIG. A.1: Demagnetizing eld calculated for a 250 nm wide and 15 nm thick permalloy
wire with saturation magnetization
0
M = 1.36 T as function of the width and the z
direction. The demagnetizing eld is very homogeneous along the out of plane component
z, which justies to consider only with the value of the demagnetizing eld in the center
of the wire at z = 0. The coordinate system for the calculation is also shown.
A plot of the demagnetizing elds y-component is shown in Fig. A.1. It is
clear from this gure that the demagnetizing eld is very homogeneous along
the thickness and one may as well take the eld at the middle of the wire
H
y
dm
(y, 0), which reads, taking into account that arctan(x) = arctan(x):
H
y
dm
(y, 0) =
M
S

_
arctan
_
t
2y +w
_
arctan
_
t
2y w
__
. (A.10)
This is the form used in Sec. 6.3.1 for a further expansion.
Appendix B
Operation Principle of
Network Analyzer and
Sampling Oscilloscope
B.0.1 Network Analyzer
A vector network analyzer combines a broadband frequency source and a
test-set for the measurement of the amplitude and phase
1
of electromagnetic
waves in the GHz range that are reected from or transmitted through a
device under test (a sample). A schematic diagram is shown in Fig. B.1.
The main ingredients are the broadband signal source, elements for signal
separation, such as power dividers and directional couplers and the detection
unit. [Agi98]
The broadband microwave source (a wobble generator) emits a wave V
inc
of frequency f, which is divided into a reference wave V
reference
and a wave
that is guided to the sample by means of a power splitter. The reference
wave is guided to the detection system. At the sample a part of the wave
is usually reected V
re
and another part transmitted V
trans
. By means of
directional couplers these waves are also guided to the detection system. A
directional coupler is a device that couples part of the wave that propagates
in one direction into a side arm, whereas it does ideally not couple any
energy from a wave propagating in the other direction. In our case this
means that nothing is coupled in the side arm from the wave emitted by the
signal source but there is a coupling of the wave reected from the sample.
The detection of voltage or power at microwave frequencies is dicult
1
If only the amplitude is measured one speaks of a scalar measurement.
154
155
R
a
t
i
o

a
n
d

P
h
a
s
e

D
e
t
e
c
t
i
o
n
Sample
mixer
directional
coupler
power
divider
signal
generator
local
oscillator
mixer
mixer
F
i
l
t
e
r
V
refl
V
inc
V
reference
V
trans
V
refl
f f+ f D
Df
Df
Df
FIG. B.1: Diagram of the operation principle of a vector network analyzer. For descrip-
tion see text.
and unprecise [Sch81]. One uses the principle of heterodyne mixing to mix
down the signal frequencies from the GHz range in the tens of MHz range,
which can be detected with great precision. A local oscillator is used which
is slightly detuned at a frequency f +f with respect to the incident wave
with frequency f. The waves are mixed and yield a wave with frequency
f. Usually the frequency of the local oscillator is coupled to that of the
signal source so that the signal after the mixing process has always the same
frequency. In this case lters optimized for the frequency f can be used to
suppress all signal contributions with frequencies other than f. This is the
principle that enables the high measurement dynamic range of 100 dBm.
[Sch81]
Calibration
Since the microwaves are scattered partially whenever there is an impedance
mismatch the actual measurement signal is often superposed by a substantial
fraction of reected signals. Any impedance mismatch will lead to a stand-
ing wave pattern on the transmission lines. The components of a network
analyzer are not ideal. For example, a directional coupler will couple energy
from waves travelling in both directions into the side arm. This signal will
be superposed on the measurement signal reected from the sample (direc-
156
Chapter B. Operation Principle of Network Analyzer and Sampling
Oscilloscope
t
0
+nt
t
0
+2t
t
0


t
0
+t


t
i
m
e

s
i
g
n
a
l

F
(
t
)

(
a
r
b
.

u
n
i
t
s
)


time t (arb. units)


time t (arb. units)


FIG. B.2: Scheme of the sampling technique. A cticious time signal F(t) is shown.

F(t
0
)
is measured, maybe very often for averaging. Then the signal is repeated and

F(t
0
+t) is
recorded with a tunable delay t, whose accuracy partly determines the time resolution.
The right hand graph is the reconstructed signal.
tivity error). The source does not have an ideal impedance match so that
all waves reected from the sample will be rereected by the source (source
match error). Additionally microwave power is usually damped when it
propagates. All these errors can be taken into account in error models. By
the measurements of standards whose reection and transmission properties
are well known the errors can be determined. This is called calibration. The
standards usually comprise a 50 load, a short (0 ), an open ( ) and
a through (transmission line with ideally matched impedance, zero length,
and no absorption) for coaxial measurements. We use planar waveguides
and calibration substrate where these standards are realized as thin lm
elements. The calibration we use is called a TRL calibration (through, re-
ection, transmission line with dierent lengths). Details about error models
can be found in [Agi98].
B.0.2 Sampling Oscilloscope
A sampling oscilloscope is an oscilloscope that is used in a stroboscopic
manner to detect a fast time signal F(t). The time signal must always be the
157
same under the same initial conditions, that is, it must be reproducible and
must not behave in a chaotic or stochastic way. The measurement principle
works as follows: A stimulus in our case the voltage step pulse excites
the sample, whose response F(t) is to be measured. The oscilloscope can
detect F(t) averaged over a time interval [t
start
, t
stop
] in which F(t) is nearly
constant. This time interval is given by the size of a black symbol in the left
hand panels in Fig. B.2. The time resolution is achieved by a very accurately
tunable delay t between the stimulus with the trigger time t
0
and the time
t
start
= t
0
+ t, at which the oscilloscope data acquisition is started. The
measurement can be repeated with dierent values for the delay and one can
recover the whole time series [F(t
0
), F(t
0
+ t), F(t
0
+ 2t), . . .] as shown
in Fig. B.2 (b).
A source of error is the trigger jitter. In order to dene the point in
time t
0
, and to start the internal clock of the oscilloscope which denes the
delay t, a trigger pulse is needed. If there are is a stochastic variation
between the time the trigger pulse and the time signal F(t) reach the oscil-
loscope the acquired waveform is smeared due to the repetitive nature of the
measurement. This reduces the time resolution. Especially the dierence
technique employed for PIMM measurements suers from trigger jitter be-
cause two signals with a very fast rising edges are subtracted. A small shift
of the pulses can lead to large spurious peaks coincident with the pulse rising
edges. We have employed a TDR oscilloscope (time domain reectrometry).
Such oscilloscopes possess an internal step pulse generator module which
shares the clock with the detection module. In this way the trigger jitter
can be minimized.
The time resolution depends on (i ) the data acquisition interval, (ii ) the
accuracy with which the delay can be set, and (iii ) the trigger jitter. The
sampling measurement mode has advantages over real time measurements.
The digital-analog converter (DAC) of a sampling oscilloscope have a
dynamic range of 16 bit, whereas state-of-the-art real time DAC have
only 8 bit.
The bandwidths of sampling oscilloscopes is higher, up to 50 GHz, for
real time oscilloscopes it is 6 GHz.
A disadvantage is that non-reproducible events are averaged out and
therefore not visible, but the high dynamic range and bandwidths of sam-
pling oscilloscopes are a prerequisite for the inductive detection of the mag-
netization dynamics.
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List of Publications
F. Giesen, J. Podbielski, T. Korn, M. Steiner, A. van Staa, and D. Grundler
Hysteresis and control of ferromagnetic resonances in rings
Appl. Phys. Lett. 86, 112510 (2005)
F. Giesen, J. Podbielski, T. Korn, and D. Grundler
Multiple ferromagnetic resonance in mesoscopic permalloy rings
J. Appl. Phys. 97, 10A712 (2005)
Selected for Virtual Journal of Nanoscience and Technology
J. Podbielski, F. Giesen, M. Berginski, N. Hoyer, and D. Grundler
Spin congurations in nanostructured magnetic rings: from DC transport to
GHz spectroscopy (invited)
Superlattices and Microstructures 37, 341 (2005)
T. Korn, F. Giesen, J. Podbielski, D. Ravlic, C. Schueller and D. Grundler
Time-resolved study of the increased magnetization precession frequency in
Fe wires
Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials 285, 240 (2005)
T. Korn, F. M uller, D. Grundler and C. Sch uller
Characterization of permalloy lms on high-bandwidth striplines
Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, 272-276, Supplement 1,
E1341, (2004)
J. Podbielski, F. Giesen, and D. Grundler (submitted)
Spin wave pockets in nanostructured rings: modelling and experiment
From previous work:
F. Giesen, B. Damaschke, V. Moshnyaga, K. Samwer, and G. A. M uller
Suppression of interface-induced electronic phase separation in all-manganite
multilayers by preservation of the Mn-O chain network
Phys. Rev. B 69, 014421 (2004)
Acknowledgements
It is a pleasure to thank those people without whose support, motivation,
encouragement, input, patience, condence, and companionship this work
would not have been possible. I sincerely thank:
Prof. Dr. D. Heitmann for supervising my thesis, creating the outstanding
working environment in his group, encouragement, and support.
Priv.-Doz. Dr. D. Grundler for the great supervision, interesting and moti-
vating discussions on a daily basis, mentoring advice, optimism, and unwa-
vering support. Thanks also for choosing a project for me that turned out
so interesting and for sharing his experience with me.
Prof. Dr. U. Merkt for being referee of the dissertation and Prof. Dr. R.
Wiesendanger for being referee of the defense, and Prof. Dr. J. Kotzler for
being the chairman of the defense.
J. Podbielski for the great cooperation. It all started with a wooden cup-
board for vacuum pumps and turned into us being a great team.
Dr. T. Korn for sharing the exciting time of rst steps towards experimental
results, excellent scientic and private discussions, and Latte Mocca.
Prof. Dr. K. Samwer for mentoring discussions, advice, and support.
Ch. Bayer for sharing his insight into magnetization dynamics with me.
Dr. C.-M. Hu for his interest in the work and stimulating discussions.
Dr. D. Gorlitz for advice and support concerning microwave technology.
Dr. M. Scheer for advice and support in the early stages of the project.
Dr. J. McCord for interesting discussions.
R. Eiselt for all kinds of support with the e-beam lithography system.
Dr. M. Steiner and A. van Staa for the MFM measurements and Dr. G.
Meier for allowing measurement time for the ring project.
R. Meissner, J. Gancarz, and H. Biedermann for technical advice and sup-
port.
My parents and my family.
Financial support from the Bundesministerium f ur Bildung und Forschung
is gratefully acknowledged through Grant BMBF Spintronics 13N8283.
Many other people too numerous to mention here have created a great
working environment and helped in some way. A big thank you to all of
them.