We have studied the domain behavior of submicrometer wide ferromagnetic stripes by magnetic force microscopy (MFM) in the presence of an in situ magnetic field. MFM images in the demagnetized state show alternatingly magnetized domains fully extended across the stripe. Moreover, domain structures are found to exhibit a substructure across the stripe. Increasing fields drive out the domain walls of the complex domains first, leaving the alternating domains behind. The remaining magnetization process aligns increasing parts of the domains along the field direction by gradually shrinking the width of oppositely magnetized domains rather than by flipping larger areas at once. Micromagnetic simulations confirm the observed behavior. The simulations reveal that flipping of the domains occurs only when a magnetic pinning center is involved.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)