5 years ago

Sensing Noncollinear Magnetism at the Atomic Scale Combining Magnetic Exchange and Spin-Polarized Imaging

Sensing Noncollinear Magnetism at the Atomic Scale Combining Magnetic Exchange and Spin-Polarized Imaging
Daniel Wegner, Alexander A. Khajetoorians, Nadine Hauptmann, Jan W. Gerritsen
Storing and accessing information in atomic-scale magnets requires magnetic imaging techniques with single-atom resolution. Here, we show simultaneous detection of the spin-polarization and exchange force with or without the flow of current with a new method, which combines scanning tunneling microscopy and noncontact atomic force microscopy. To demonstrate the application of this new method, we characterize the prototypical nanoskyrmion lattice formed on a monolayer of Fe/Ir(111). We resolve the square magnetic lattice by employing magnetic exchange force microscopy, demonstrating its applicability to noncollinear magnetic structures for the first time. Utilizing distance-dependent force and current spectroscopy, we quantify the exchange forces in comparison to the spin-polarization. For strongly spin-polarized tips, we distinguish different signs of the exchange force that we suggest arises from a change in exchange mechanisms between the probe and a skyrmion. This new approach may enable both nonperturbative readout combined with writing by current-driven reversal of atomic-scale magnets.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b02538

DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b02538

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