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Volume 15 Issue 5, May 2020

The development of efficient memory devices and powerful spintronic applications requires a detailed understanding of the dynamic response of magnetic materials. Claire Donnelly et al. now present a time-resolved imaging technique to record the magnetization dynamics of bulk magnets, which often display a complex texture. In a stroboscopic measurement, the authors periodically excite the magnetization of a microdisc with a radio-frequency magnetic field and then, for a number of different time delays, probe the three-dimensional magnetization distribution via X-ray laminography, a synchrotron-based technique that maps the bulk magnetic texture. With this pump–probe experiment, they obtain a series of freeze frames of the magnetization with a time resolution of 70 ps and a spatial resolution of 50 nm.

The cover art shows a snapshot of the transient magnetization in a microdisc that is excited with an alternating magnetic field. The swirling streamlines represent the local magnetization within the disc, including magnetic vortices that move from side to side.

Letter by Donnelly

IMAGE: Image courtesy of Claire Donnelly, University of Cambridge. COVER DESIGN: Bethany Vukomanovic


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  • Knowledge and control of the dynamic response in micromagnetic configurations is important both for understanding their fundamental properties and for their use in technological applications. Pump–probe magnetic laminography now unveils the evolution of the magnetization in a three-dimensional system with nanoscale resolution.

    • Claire Donnelly
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    • Tomoyuki Yokouchi
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