Europhys. Lett.
Volume 76, Number 4, November 2006
Page(s) 637 - 643
Section Condensed matter: structural, mechanical and thermal properties
Published online 18 October 2006
Europhys. Lett., 76 (4), pp. 637-643 (2006)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2006-10307-2

Consequences of line defects on the magnetic structure of high anisotropy films: Pinning centers on $\chem{Dy/W(110)}$

S. Krause, L. Berbil-Bautista, T. Hänke, F. Vonau, M. Bode and R. Wiesendanger

Institute of Applied Physics and Microstructure Research Center University of Hamburg - Jungiusstrasse 11, D-20355 Hamburg, Germany

received 28 August 2006; accepted 18 September 2006
published online 18 October 2006

The narrow domain wall width w of high-anisotropy materials induces significant pinning of magnetic domains at line defects which -due to spatial resolution limitations- could not be studied directly in the past. By means of spin-polarized scanning tunneling microscopy we have directly correlated the morphology and domain structure of ferromagnetic Dy/W(110) on the nanometer scale. Indeed, the images reveal an effective pinning of the domain walls by two types of line defects. They are identified by growth studies and atomic resolution STM as screw and edge dislocations, two fundamental lattice distortions in solid-state physics.

68.37.Ef - Scanning tunneling microscopy (including chemistry induced with STM).
75.60.Ch - Domain walls and domain structure.
75.70.-i - Magnetic properties of thin films, surfaces, and interfaces.

© EDP Sciences 2006