Physical Review Letters

Magnetization Reversal in Micron-Sized Magnetic Thin Films

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We have measured and simulated the dynamics of magnetization reversal in 5 nm by 0.8 by 1.6μm Ni60Fe40 thin films. The films measured form the upper electrode of a spin-polarized tunnel junction so that the magnetization direction of the film can be probed by measuring the tunneling resistance of the junction. When a magnetic field pulse is applied, the time to switch the film magnetization changes from greater than 10 ns to less than 500 ps as the pulse amplitude is increased from the coercive field to 10 mT and beyond. We have simulated these transitions using micromagnetic modeling of the exact experimental conditions. The simulations agree well with the experimental measurements. © 1998 The American Physical Society.