The nature of charged zig-zag domains in MnAs thin films

R. Engel-Herbert, D. M. Schaadt, S. Cherifi, E. Bauer, R. Belkhou, A. Locatelli, S. Heun, A. Pavlovska, J. Mohanty, K. H. Ploog, T. Hesjedal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


We report on apparently charged domain walls in MnAs-on-GaAs(0 0 1) layers. For head-on domains, described as two domains facing each other with opposite magnetization, the domain walls of ≳ 200 nm thick films exhibit a zig-zag pattern. Depending on the width of the ferromagnetic stripes, which is a function of temperature and thus the strain in the easy axis direction, the zig-zag angle 2 θ increases from 90{ring operator} in the case of wide stripes to 180{ring operator} (i.e., to a straight wall) for narrow stripes. The underlying domain structure was calculated using a three-dimensional micromagnetic simulator. The calculations reveal a number of distinct domain patterns as a result of the system's attempt to reduce its energy through the formation of closure domain-like patterns in the easy plane. A diamond-like state consisting of two intersecting sub-surface domain walls is the underlying magnetic structure resulting in the observed, apparently charged domain walls. The zig-zag pattern of the domain boundary is explained by stray field minimization of the diamond state along the stripe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-463
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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