Measurement of local magnetic properties of devices with transmission electron microscopy

Abstract : EMCD (Energy-Loss Magnetic Chiral Dichoism) is an emerging technique based on energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS) in a transmission electron microscopy (TEM). It aims at measuring the element-specific local magnetic moment of solids at a nanometer scale, and hence improving our understanding of magnetic local magnetic phenomena. This thesis presents the exploring work on developing the EMCD technique and its applications. We have applied EMCD to epitaxial MnAs thin films grown on a GaAs(001) substrate, extending the application of this technique to hexagonal structure with high magnetocrystalline anisotropy. The 3d orbital-to-spin moment ratio of Mn in hexagonal ferromagnetic MnAs along easy, hard and intermediate magnetic axes has been respectively estimated and then compared to DFT calculations. Moreover, a breaking of the ferromagnetic order in MnAs thin film, together with the crystallographic transition from hexagonal a-MnAs to quasi-hexagonal ß-MnAs, has been locally studied in-situ by modifying the temperature of the crystal inside the electron microscope. EMCD has also been settled to probe 4f moment in rare earth compounds, by investigating Dy-M4,5 edges in DyFe2/YFe2 superlattices. We have derived sum rules which are specified for 4f moment and applied them to the obtained dichroic signal over Dy-M4,5 edges. In addition, antiparallel coupling of Dy and Fe moments has been confirmed by comparing their dichroic signals, taking into account the dynamic diffraction effect. The work in this thesis illustrates for the first time the feasibility of EMCD technique for quantitative study of magnetocrystalline anisotropy and magnetic transition, and also proves its potential as a tool to investigate 4f moment as well as moment coupling in magnetic materials.
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Xiaoxiao Fu. Measurement of local magnetic properties of devices with transmission electron microscopy. Materials Science [cond-mat.mtrl-sci]. Université Paul Sabatier - Toulouse III, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016TOU30061⟩. ⟨tel-01532253⟩

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