Magnetic vortex dynamics in the presence of pinning

R. L. Compton, T. Y. Chen, P. A. Crowell

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We have measured the frequency fG of the gyrotropic mode of a magnetic vortex formed in individual soft ferromagnetic disks with diameters from 600 nm to 2 μm. For low excitation amplitudes, we observe fluctuations in fG as a function of applied magnetic field. The relationship between the applied field and the spatial displacement of the vortex core from the center of the disk indicates that the fluctuations are due to a distribution of nanoscale defects that pin the vortex core, which has a diameter of ∼10 nm. In the limit of high excitation amplitude, the gyrotropic frequency is independent of field, indicating that the core is depinned. In this limit f G = fideal where fideal is the frequency predicted by analytical models and micromagnetic simulations of ideal vortex behavior. We also find both experimentally and in simulations that the average frequency shift 〈 Δf 〉 = 〈 fmax - f ideal 〉 is independent of disk diameter. From this observation we argue that Δf for a particular fluctuation is proportional to the interaction energy Wp of the vortex core with a single nanoscale defect and estimate the average energy to be Wp /e≈2 eV for the defects in these sputtered permalloy films.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number144412
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number14
StatePublished - Apr 9 2010

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