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Spin-transport effects, such as giant magnetoresistance, rely on the fact that there is a difference in scattering between the spin-up and spin-down electrons in a ferromagnetic material. The degree to which each electron channel is scattered depends on the magnetisation direction within the material, and thus on the local magnetic domain structure. It is therefore of importance when analysing spin-transport devices to understand their magnetic domain structure, both as a bulk property and locally. The aim of this chapter is to review a number of the techniques currently used to image magnetic domain structure in materials. Although a considerable amount of information about the magnetic properties and behaviour of a piece of material, for example a thin ferromagnetic film, can be obtained from bulk magnetometry measurements, it is often extremely useful to image the magnetic domain structure of the film and thus gain information about its magnetic properties at a local level. The various magnetic imaging techniques yet to be described can be extended, by the application of in-situ magnetic fields which allow not only the magnetic domains but also the magnetisation reversal process to be followed in real-time.
KeywordsMagnetic Domain Scan Electron Microscopy Magnetic Force Microscope Magnetic Image Sense Layer
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