Open Access Nano Express

Magnetization reversal in asymmetric trilayer dots: effect of the interlayer magnetostatic coupling

Zhongjie Yan*, Xiaolong Fan and Zhenghua Li

Author Affiliations

Key Laboratory for Magnetism and Magnetic Materials of the Ministry of Education, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, People's Republic of China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:106  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-106

Published: 4 March 2014

Abstract

The spin structure and magnetization reversal in Co/insulator/Fe trilayer nanodots are investigated by micromagnetic simulations. The vortex and C-state are found and the magnetization reversal is dominated by the shape asymmetry of the dots, which is produced by cutting off a fraction of the circular dot. The vortex chirality is thus controlled by the magnetic field direction. On the other hand, the magnetostatic interaction between the top and bottom magnetic layers has interesting influence on the dot reversal process, where the magnetocrystalline anisotropy direction of the Co layer is allowed to vary within the layer plane. The combined effect of these two aspects is discussed on the base of dot coercivity, remanent magnetization, vortex nucleation and annihilation, and the bias of the Fe layer hysteresis loop. While leading to a new S-state in circle dots, the interlayer interaction facilitates the formation of C-state in asymmetric dots, which reduces the vortex nucleation field. The bias effect of all dots is decreased with the deviation of the Co layer easy axis from the field direction. Unlike the circle and semicircle dots, the field range of the vortex state in other asymmetric dots increases with the angle between the cutting direction and the Co layer anisotropy. Additionally, vortex ranges in less asymmetric dots even larger than that in the circle dots are evidenced unexpectedly. Therefore, the control of the vortex chirality and enhancement of the vortex range are found simultaneously.

Keywords:
Nanodots; Trilayer; Micromagnetic simulation; Magnetization reversal; Magnetization vortex