HMC Physics Colloquium

Tuesdays at 16:30 in Shanahan Center for Teaching and Learning, Room B460

Eric E. Fullerton

University of California at San Diego

Characterizing Magnetic Materials on the Nano-Scale Using Synchrotron X-Rays

April 24, 2007

Magnetic materials and devices have played a major role in science and technology for the last half century. Hard disk drives dominate information storage and magnetic random access memory (MRAM) is emerging in the memory market. Present magnetic devices are complex metal hetero-structures that combine many layers and state-of-the-art lithography. A key component for continued development of such nano-technologies is characterization techniques that probe structural and magnetic order at the appropriate spatial and temporal scales. Synchrotron x-ray techniques are well suited to fill this role. In this talk, I will review x-ray imaging and scattering techniques developed specifically to characterize magnetic materials. These techniques exploit resonant atomic core level transitions available in the soft x-ray range that bring element and magnetic specificity to various imaging and scattering techniques. The 1-2 nm wavelengths of soft x-rays sets the achievable spatial resolution combined with a temporal resolution better than 100 pico-seconds.