A Biaxial Magneto-optical Kerr Magnetometer for Studying Magnetic Thin Films




Watts, Charles B.

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I have designed and built a biaxial magneto-optical Kerr magnetometer to study thin magnetic films. The design enables researchers to measure perpendicular and in-plane hysteresis curves of ultra thin films down to a thickness of 9 A. The optical components are fastened to a vibration isolation table and the sample is suspended between the pole pieces of an electromagnet resting on the floor. The magnetometer allows for the examination of two independent Kerr effect measurements for application in magneto-optical recording. I have tested the equipment on ferromagnetic films and Fe/ Al2O3 multilayers. Angle dependent measurements show that the polar magneto-optical Kerr effect diminishes as the poles are rotated towards an in-plane applied magnetic field. Polar and longitudinal measurements on the Fe/ Al2O3 multilayers show that a change in the reversal mechanism occurs for films thicker than 15 A.



magnetometers, magnetooptical devices


Watts, C.B. (2000). A biaxial magneto-optical Kerr magnetometer for studying magnetic thin films (Unpublished thesis). Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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