The Direct Determination of Magnetic Domain Wall Profiles by Differential Phase Contrast Electron Microscopy

Ultramicroscopy. 1978;3(2):203-14. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3991(78)80027-8.


A new technique for the quantitative investigation of magnetic structures in ferromagnetic thin films is proposed. Unlike previous techniques the detected signal is simply related to the magnetic induction in the film, and as such the direct determination of domain wall profiles is possible. The technique utilizes a differential phase contrast mode of scanning transmission electron microscopy in which the normal bright field detector is replaced by a split-detector lying symmetrically about the optic axis of the system. The difference signal from the two halves of the detector provides the required magnetic information. Analysis of the image formation mechanism shows that, using a commercially available scanning transmission electron microscope equipped with a field emission gun, wall profiles should be obtainable directly from most structures of interest in Lorentz microscopy. Furthermore, signal-to-noise considerations indicate that these results can be obtained in acceptably short recording times. Finally, experimental results using both polycrystalline and single crystal specimens are presented, which confirm the theoretical predictions.

MeSH terms

  • Elements*
  • Magnetics*
  • Mathematics
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning / methods*
  • Microscopy, Phase-Contrast / methods*


  • Elements