Physical Review B - CMMP

Three-dimensional magnetic-flux-closure patterns in mesoscopic Fe islands

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We have investigated three-dimensional magnetization structures in numerous mesoscopic Fe•Mo(110) islands by means of x-ray magnetic circular dichroism combined with photoemission electron microscopy (XMCD-PEEM). The particles are epitaxial islands with an elongated hexagonal shape with length of up to 2.5μm and thickness of up to 250nm. The XMCD-PEEM studies reveal asymmetric magnetization distributions at the surface of these particles. Micromagnetic simulations are in excellent agreement with the observed magnetic structures and provide information on the internal structure of the magnetization which is not accessible in the experiment. It is shown that the magnetization is influenced mostly by the particle size and thickness rather than by the details of its shape. Hence these hexagonal samples can be regarded as model systems for the study of the magnetization in thick, mesoscopic ferromagnets. © 2005 The American Physical Society.