Magnetic reconfiguration of MnAs/GaAs(001) observed by Magnetic Force Microscopy and Resonant Soft X-ray Scattering

Physics – Condensed Matter – Mesoscale and Nanoscale Physics

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16 pages in PDF

Scientific paper

10.1063/1.2356794

We investigated the thermal evolution of the magnetic properties of MnAs epitaxial films grown on GaAs(001) during the coexistence of hexagonal/orthorhombic phases using polarized resonant (magnetic) soft X-ray scattering and magnetic force microscopy. The results of the diffuse satellite X-ray peaks were compared to those obtained by magnetic force microscopy and suggest a reorientation of ferromagnetic terraces as temperature rises. By measuring hysteresis loops at these peaks we show that this reorientation is common to all ferromagnetic terraces. The reorientation is explained by a simple model based on the shape anisotropy energy. Demagnetizing factors were calculated for different configurations suggested by the magnetic images. We noted that the magnetic moments flip from an in-plane mono-domain orientation at lower temperatures to a three-domain out-of-plane configuration at higher temperatures. The transition was observed when the ferromagnetic stripe width L is equal to 2.9 times the film thickness d. This is in good agreement with the expected theoretical value of L = 2.6d.

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