The wealth of micromagnetic phenomena and their potential applications in nonvolatile memory, computer logic, biosensors, and high-resolution magnetic field sensors make the fabrication and study of magnetic nanostructures a timely and important task. As with the majority of high technologies, the rapid scaling of nanomagnetic systems (e.g. magnetic random access memory (MRAM) or magnetic probe heads used in magnetic data storage) is the key to economic viability. However, fabrication and materials issues have limited magnetic device work to 200-300nm length scale. Research on smaller device structures has been mainly theoretical, based on modeling.
We will attempt to fabricate and study magnetic properties of large arrays of deep submicron magnetic device structures, relevant to magnetoelectronic applications with better than 5 nm control of lateral dimensions. Additionally evaluate the materials requirements to enable technologically effective scaling approach in sub-100nm domain. The influence of microstructure, anisotropy (magnitude, anisotropy axes orientation, uniaxial versus cubic or isotropic), magnetic moment, and exchange coupling on devices properties (switching, supported magnetization states, sensitivity to geometry variations) will be studied. Finally, to fabricate and characterize sub-100nm spin-tunneling devices. Micromagnetic modeling will be used extensively throughout the project for data analysis and design optimization.