Studies of magnetic domain and magnetic anisotropy in collected nanoparticles are crucial for both understanding interparticle interaction and engineering in applications. In order to characterize the microscopic surface morphology and the nanoscale magnetic domain structure of Fe nanoparticles, a scanning tunneling microscope and a scanning electron microscope with polarization analysis (SEMPA) were used in our experiment. For the coverage of 9-13 monolayers (MLs) Fe deposited on Al2O3/NiAl (100), circular and well-separated nanoparticles were grown. As the coverage increased up to 23-33 ML, these Fe nanoparticles started to coalesce and form elongated islands. Therefore a transition from isotropic to anisotropic in-plane magnetism was observed. Our proposed uniaxial magnetic anisotropy models effectively explain the azimuthal angle dependent two-step hysteresis loops. Moreover, the in situ measured SEMPA images clearly show the coverage dependent evolution of magnetic domain structure. Variations in interparticle interaction and magnetic correlation length with increasing Fe coverage are also reported.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)