Complex Three-Dimensional Magnetic Ordering in Segmented Nanowire Arrays

Alexander J. Grutter, Kathryn L. Krycka, Elena V. Tartakovskaya, Julie A. Borchers, K. Sai Madhukar Reddy, Eduardo Ortega, Arturo Ponce, Bethanie J.H. Stadler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


A comprehensive three-dimensional picture of magnetic ordering in high-density arrays of segmented FeGa/Cu nanowires is experimentally realized through the application of polarized small-angle neutron scattering. The competing energetics of dipolar interactions, shape anisotropy, and Zeeman energy in concert stabilize a highly tunable spin structure that depends heavily on the applied field and sample geometry. Consequently, we observe ferromagnetic and antiferromagnetic interactions both among wires and between segments within individual wires. The resulting magnetic structure for our nanowire sample in a low field is a fan with magnetization perpendicular to the wire axis that aligns nearly antiparallel from one segment to the next along the wire axis. Additionally, while the low-field interwire coupling is ferromagnetic, application of a field tips the moments toward the nanowire axis, resulting in highly frustrated antiferromagnetic stripe patterns in the hexagonal nanowire lattice. Theoretical calculations confirm these observations, providing insight into the competing interactions and resulting stability windows for a variety of ordered magnetic structures. These results provide a roadmap for designing high-density magnetic nanowire arrays for spintronic device applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8311-8319
Number of pages9
JournalACS nano
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 22 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Chemical Society.


  • dipole interactions
  • galfenol
  • magnetic coupling
  • magnetism
  • nanowire array
  • polarization analyzed small-angle neutron scattering
  • segmented nanowires

MRSEC Support

  • Shared

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.


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