PerspectiveFERROMAGNETISM

Vortex Cores--Smaller Than Small

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Science  18 Oct 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5593, pp. 555
DOI: 10.1126/science.1077704

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Summary

When magnetization is confined to a small volume, such as a nanometer-scale iron platelet, is forms a "magnetic vortex", where the magnetization leaves the plane. In their Perspective, Miltat and Thiaville highlight the report by Wachowiak et al., who have performed sophisticated magnetic imaging experiments to measure the radius of the magnetic vortex in an iron nanoplatelet. At 4 to 5 nanometers, the vortex turns out to be smaller than expected. Miltat and Thiaville raise the next challenge for magnetic imaging: a Bloch point, constructed by combining two vortex structures such that the magnetization is continuous everywhere except in one point.

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