Use of Two-Photon Lithography with a Negative Resist and Processing to Realise Cylindrical Magnetic Nanowires

Nanomaterials (Basel). 2020 Feb 28;10(3):429. doi: 10.3390/nano10030429.


Cylindrical magnetic nanowires have been shown to exhibit a vast array of fascinating spin textures, including chiral domains, skyrmion tubes, and topologically protected domain walls that harbor Bloch points. Here, we present a novel methodology that utilizes two-photon lithography in order to realize tailored three-dimensional (3D) porous templates upon prefabricated electrodes. Electrochemical deposition is used to fill these porous templates, and reactive ion etching is used to free the encased magnetic nanowires. The nanowires are found to have a diameter of 420 nm, length of 2.82 μm, and surface roughness of 7.6 nm. Magnetic force microscopy in an externally applied field suggests a complex spiraling magnetization state, which demagnetizes via the production of vortices of alternating chirality. Detailed micro-magnetic simulations confirm such a state and a qualitative agreement is found with respect to the switching of experimental nanowires. Surprisingly, simulations also indicate the presence of a Bloch point as a metastable state during the switching process. Our work provides a new means to realize 3D magnetic nanowires of controlled geometry and calculations suggest a further reduction in diameter to sub-200 nm will be possible, providing access to a regime of ultrafast domain wall motion.

Keywords: 3D nanomagnetism; Bloch point; electrodeposition; magnetic force microscopy; magnetic nanowire; micro-magnetic simulations; two-photon lithography.