Improvement of domain wall conduit properties in cobalt nanowires by global gallium irradiation

Nanotechnology. 2013 Aug 30;24(34):345703. doi: 10.1088/0957-4484/24/34/345703. Epub 2013 Jul 30.


Applications based on the movement of domain walls (DWs) in magnetic nanowires (NWs) require a good DW conduit behavior, i.e. a significant difference between DW nucleation and propagation fields. In this work, we have systematically studied how this property evolves in cobalt NWs grown by focused electron beam induced deposition (FEBID) as a function of global gallium irradiation, for irradiation doses up to 1.24 × 10(17) ions cm(-2). Whereas for high doses the DW conduit is lost, below 6.42 × 10(15) ions cm(-2) the difference between the two fields increases with irradiation, becoming up to ∼9 times larger than for non-irradiated wires, due to a strong increase in the nucleation field, while the propagation field remains approximately constant. This behavior stems from two effects. The first effect is a decrease in the magnetic volume of the parasitic halo around the NW, typically present in FEBID nanostructures, leading to the disappearance of weak nucleation centers. The second effect is the formation of a 20 nm outer shell with Co crystals about twice the size of those forming the NW core, causing a net increase of the local magnetocrystalline anisotropy. The results presented here are important for the potential use of magnetic NWs grown by FEBID in DW-based devices, and might also be of interest for magnetic NWs fabricated by other techniques.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't