Magnetic exchange force microscopy: Theoretical analysis of induced magnetization reversals

Aleksei Ivanov, Pavel F. Bessarab, Valery M. Uzdin, Hannes Jónsson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
44 Downloads (Pure)


In magnetic exchange force microscopy a magnetic tip is scanned over the surface of a solid and an image representing the exchange interaction recorded. Sudden changes in the image corresponding to magnetization switching can be monitored as a function of the tip-surface distance thereby giving important information about the lifetime of metastable magnetic states and how it is affected by the exchange interaction. Here, theoretical calculations are carried out to study the tip-surface interaction and determine the mechanism and rate of transitions in a magnetic exchange force microscopy experiment, and comparison made with reported experimental data on an Fe cluster interacting with an antiferromagnetic Fe overlayer on a W(001) surface. The activation energy was determined from calculations of minimum energy paths and the pre-exponential factor in the Arrhenius rate expression evaluated from harmonic transition state theory, extended to account for zero modes. A noncollinear extension of the Alexander-Anderson model was used to describe the magnetic properties of an atomic scale representation of the system. The calculations reveal how the tip size, tip-surface distance and magnetic field affect the lifetime of the magnetic states.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13320-13325
Number of pages6
Issue number35
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sept 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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