Individually grown cobalt nanowires as magnetic force microscopy probes

Appl Phys Lett. 2018 Feb 26;112(9):092401. doi: 10.1063/1.4997310.


AC electric fields were utilized in the growth of individual high-aspect ratio cobalt nanowires from simple salt solutions using the Directed Electrochemical Nanowire Assembly method. Nanowire diameters were tuned from the submicron scale to 40 nm by adjusting the AC voltage frequency and the growth solution concentration. The structural properties of the nanowires, including shape and crystallinity, were identified using electron microscopy. Hysteresis loops obtained along different directions of an individual nanowire using vibrating sample magnetometry showed that the magnetocrystalline anisotropy energy has the same order of magnitude as the shape anisotropy energy. Additionally, the saturation magnetization of an individual cobalt nanowire was estimated to be close to the bulk single crystal value. A small cobalt nanowire segment was grown from a conductive atomic force microscope cantilever tip that was utilized in magnetic force microscopy (MFM) imaging. The fabricated MFM tip provided moderate quality magnetic images of an iron-cobalt thin-film sample.