Measurements of nanoscale domain wall flexing in a ferromagnetic thin film

A. L. Balk, M. E. Nowakowski, M. J. Wilson, D. W. Rench, P. Schiffer, D. D. Awschalom, N. Samarth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


We use the high spatial sensitivity of the anomalous Hall effect in the ferromagnetic semiconductor Ga1-xMnxAs, combined with the magneto-optical Kerr effect, to probe the nanoscale elastic flexing behavior of a single magnetic domain wall in a ferromagnetic thin film. Our technique allows position sensitive characterization of the pinning site density, which we estimate to be ∼1014cm-3. Analysis of single site depinning events and their temperature dependence yields estimates of pinning site forces (10 pN range) as well as the thermal deactivation energy. Our data provide evidence for a much higher intrinsic domain wall mobility for flexing than previously observed in optically probed μm scale measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number077205
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number7
StatePublished - Aug 10 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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