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Controlled and deterministic creation of synthetic antiferromagnetic domains by focused ion beam irradiation

Samad, F.; Hlawacek, G.; Arekapudi, S. S. P. K.; Xu, X.; Koch, L.; Lenz, M.; Hellwig, O.

We study layered synthetic antiferromagnets (SAFs) with out-of-plane interface anisotropy, where the layer-wise antiferromagnetic (AF)
alignment is induced by interlayer exchange coupling (IEC). By applying low energy He+ focused ion beam irradiation to the SAF, a depth-dependent
reduction of the IEC and anisotropy can be achieved due to layer intermixing. As a consequence, after irradiation, a specific field
reversal sequence of the SAF is energetically preferred. When tuning the pristine SAF to exhibit an inverted field reversal, we are thus able to
create AF domains in the irradiated regions. When irradiated with a fluence gradient, these AF domains can be further deterministically
manipulated by an external magnetic field. Among other applications, this could be utilized for engineering a controllable and local magnetic
stray field landscape, for example, at AF domain walls, within the otherwise stray field free environment provided by the SAF.

Keywords: Bubble domains; Focused ion beam; Sputter deposition; Interlayer exchange coupling; Magnetic hysteresis

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Publ.-Id: 33090