The vortex state, characterized by a curling magnetization, is one of the equilibrium configurations of soft magnetic materials1,2,3,4 and occurs in thin ferromagnetic square and disk-shaped elements of micrometre size and below. The interplay between the magnetostatic and the exchange energy favours an in-plane, closed flux domain structure. This curling magnetization turns out of the plane at the centre of the vortex structure, in an area with a radius of about 10 nanometres—the vortex core5,6,7. The vortex state has a specific excitation mode: the in-plane gyration of the vortex structure about its equilibrium position8,9,10. The sense of gyration is determined by the vortex core polarization11. Here we report on the controlled manipulation of the vortex core polarization by excitation with small bursts of an alternating magnetic field. The vortex motion was imaged by time-resolved scanning transmission X-ray microscopy12. We demonstrate that the sense of gyration of the vortex structure can be reversed by applying short bursts of the sinusoidal excitation field with amplitude of about 1.5 mT. This reversal unambiguously indicates a switching of the out-of-plane core polarization. The observed switching mechanism, which can be understood in the framework of micromagnetic theory, gives insights into basic magnetization dynamics and their possible application in data storage.
Your institute does not have access to this article
Open Access articles citing this article.
Scientific Reports Open Access 05 November 2021
Scientific Reports Open Access 25 October 2021
Nature Communications Open Access 18 September 2020
Subscribe to Journal
Get full journal access for 1 year
only $3.90 per issue
All prices are NET prices.
VAT will be added later in the checkout.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.
All prices are NET prices.
Hubert, A. & Schäfer, R. Magnetic Domains—the Analysis of Magnetic Microstructures (Springer, Berlin, 1998)
Raabe, J. et al. Magnetization pattern of ferromagnetic nanodisks. J. Appl. Phys. 88, 4437–4439 (2000)
Shinjo, T., Okuno, T., Hassdorf, R., Shigeto, K. & Ono, T. Magnetic vortex core observation in circular dots of permalloy. Science 289, 930–932 (2000)
Ross, C. et al. Micromagnetic behavior of electrodeposited cylinder arrays. Phys. Rev. B 65, 144417 (2002)
Feldtkeller, E. & Thomas, H. Struktur und Energie von Blochlinien in dünnen ferromagnetischen Schichten. Phys. Kondens. Mater. 4, 8–14 (1965)
Miltat, J. & Thiaville, A. Vortex cores—smaller than small. Science 298, 555 (2002)
Wachowiak, A. et al. Direct observation of internal spin structure of magnetic vortex cores. Science 298, 577–580 (2002)
Thiele, A. Steady-state motion of magnetic domains. Phys. Rev. Lett. 30, 230–233 (1973)
Huber, D. Equation of motion of a spin vortex in a two-dimensional planar magnet. J. Appl. Phys. 53, 1899–1900 (1982)
Choe, S. et al. Vortex core-driven magnetization dynamics. Science 304, 420–422 (2004)
Park, J. & Crowell, P. Interactions of spin waves with a magnetic vortex. Phys. Rev. Lett. 95, 167201 (2005)
Stoll, H. et al. High-resolution imaging of fast magnetization dynamics in magnetic nanostructures. Appl. Phys. Lett. 84, 3328–3330 (2004)
Höllinger, R., Killinger, A. & Krey, U. Statics and fast dynamics of nanomagnets with vortex structure. J. Magn. Magn. Mater. 261, 178–189 (2003)
Vavassori, P., Grimsditch, M., Metlushko, V., Zaluzec, N. & Ilic, B. Magnetoresistance of single magnetic vortices. Appl. Phys. Lett. 86, 072507 (2005)
Taniuchi, T., Oshima, M., Akinaga, H. & Ono, K. Vortex-chirality control in mesoscopic disk magnets observed by photoelectron emission microscopy. J. Appl. Phys. 97, 10J904 (2005)
Okuno, T., Shigeto, K., Ono, T., Mibu, K. & Shinjo, T. MFM study of magnetic vortex cores in circular permalloy dots: Behavior in external field. J. Magn. Magn. Mater. 240, 1–6 (2002)
Thiaville, A., Garcia, J., Dittrich, R., Miltat, J. & Schrefl, T. Micromagnetic study of Bloch-point-mediated vortex core reversal. Phys. Rev. B 67, 094410 (2003)
Argyle, B., Terrenzio, E. & Slonczewski, J. Magnetic vortex dynamics using the optical Cotton-Mouton effect. Phys. Rev. Lett. 53, 190–193 (1984)
Park, J., Eames, P., Engebretson, D., Berezovsky, J. & Crowell, P. Imaging of spin dynamics in closure domain and vortex structures. Phys. Rev. B 67, 020403 (2003)
Schütz, G. et al. Absorption of circularly polarized x-rays in iron. Phys. Rev. Lett. 58, 737–740 (1987)
Novosad, V. et al. Magnetic vortex resonance in patterned ferromagnetic dots. Phys. Rev. B 72, 024455 (2005)
Lee, K. S., Choi, S. & Kim, S. K. Radiation of spin waves from magnetic vortex cores by their dynamic motion and annihilation processes. Appl. Phys. Lett. 87, 192502 (2005)
Döring, W. Point singularities in micromagnetism. J. Appl. Phys. 39, 1006–1007 (1964)
Guslienko, K. et al. Eigenfrequencies of vortex state excitations in magnetic submicron-size disks. J. Appl. Phys. 91, 8037–8039 (2002)
Kilcoyne, A. et al. Interferometer-controlled scanning transmission x-ray microscopes at the advanced light source. J. Synchrotron Radiat. 10, 125–136 (2003)
Puzic, A. et al. Spatially resolved ferromagnetic resonance: Imaging of ferromagnetic eigenmodes. J. Appl. Phys. 97, 10E704 (2005)
Donahue, M. & Porter, D. OOMMF User’s Guide, version 1.0. Interagency Report NISTIR 6376 (National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland, 1999)
We thank H. D. Carstanjen, D. Goll, S. Komineas, H. Kronmüller and M. Scheinfein for helpful discussions. Financial support was provided by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft through the priority programme ‘Ultrafast Magnetisation Processes’. The Advanced Light Source is supported by the Director, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, of the US Department of Energy.
Reprints and permissions information is available at www.nature.com/reprints. The authors declare no competing financial interests.
This movie shows the dynamic response of the magnetisation in a 1.5 × 1.5 μm2, 50 nm thick Permalloy element imaged before the burst excitation. The element is excited using an in-plane alternating magnetic field with an amplitude of 0.1 mT and a frequency of 250 MHz. The observed contrast is equivalent to Mx. The vortex core moves counterclockwise (MOV 2348 kb)
This movie shows the dynamic response of the magnetisation in a 1.5 × 1.5 μm2, 50 nm thick Permalloy element imaged after the burst excitation. The element is excited using an in-plane alternating magnetic field with an amplitude of 0.1 mT and a frequency of 250 MHz. The observed contrast is equivalent to Mx. The vortex core movement has changed to clockwise indicating a switching of the vortex core polarisation. (MOV 2280 kb)
This movie shows the simulated dynamic response of the magnetisation in a 1.5 × 1.5 μm2, 50 nm thick Permalloy element over 40 ns. The left panel shows the in-plane x-component Mx and the right panel shows the out-of-plane z-component Mz. The lower panel indicates the time structure of the excitation and can be followed with a moving red dot. The element is excited using an in-plane alternating magnetic field along the y-axis with an amplitude of 0.1 mT and a frequency of 250 MHz. The field induces the gyrating motion of the vortex core (counterclockwise) and the movement reaches a stable orbit after a few periods. After approximately 12 ns, a short field burst with a length of one monocycle is applied with an amplitude of 3.5 mT. The simulation shows that the vortex core is deformed and becomes unstable. This results in a flip of the core polarisation and the sense of gyration changes to clockwise. The abrupt switch is accompanied by the creation of spin waves i.e. energy is transferred from the vortex gyration mode to the spin wave modes and dissipates over the element. After approximately 28 ns, a same field burst was applied to switch back the vortex core polarisation. (MOV 2275 kb)
This movie shows the zoomed-in simulated dynamic response of the magnetisation in a 1.5 × 1.5 μm2, 50 nm thick Permalloy element during the switching process. An area of 150 nm × 150 nm, in a timewindow of 720 ps, is shown. The arrows represent the in-plane magnetisation components while the coloured areas represent the out-of-plane component (blue = up, red = down). (MOV 2705 kb)
About this article
Cite this article
Van Waeyenberge, B., Puzic, A., Stoll, H. et al. Magnetic vortex core reversal by excitation with short bursts of an alternating field. Nature 444, 461–464 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature05240
Nature Physics (2021)
Scientific Reports (2021)
Scientific Reports (2021)
Quantum Information Processing (2021)
Nature Nanotechnology (2020)