Electromagnetic devices rely on electrical currents to generate magnetic fields. While extremely useful this approach has limitations in the small-scale. To overcome the scaling problem, researchers have tried to use electric fields to manipulate a magnetic material’s intrinsic magnetization (i.e. multiferroic). The strain mediated class of multiferroics offers up to 70% of energy transduction using available piezoelectric and magnetoelastic materials. While strain mediated multiferroic is promising, few studies exist on modeling/testing of nanoscale magnetic structures.
This talk presents motivation, analytical models, and experimental data on electrical control of nanoscale single magnetic domain structures. This research is conducted in a NSF Engineering Research Center entitled Translational Applications for Nanoscale Multiferroics TANMS. The models combine micromagnetics (Landau-Lifshitz-Gilbert) with elastodynamics using the electrostatic approximation producing eight fully coupled nonlinear partial differential equations. Qualitative and quantitative verification is achieved with direct comparison to experimental data. The modeling effort guides fabrication and testing on three elements, i.e. nanoscale rings (onion states), ellipses (single domain reorientation), and superparamagnetic elements. Experimental results demonstrate electrical and deterministic control of the magnetic states in the 5-500 nm structures as measured with Photoemission Electron Microscopy PEEM, Magnetic Force Microscopy MFM, or Lorentz Transmission Electron Microscopy TEM. These data strongly suggests efficient control of nanoscale magnetic spin states is possible with voltage.