Patterned magnetic thin films are of fundamental scientific interest, with new phenomena occurring as the lateral dimensions are reduced below 1µm. The resulting nanoscale magnetic elements are also of technological importance for a variety of industrial applications, for example magnetic recording heads and media, magnetic random access memory (MRAM) and miniaturised actuator elements.
We can use electron beam lithography and extreme ultraviolet interference lithography to pattern the films into a variety of magnetic elements with different shapes and sizes. Using synchrotron X-ray microscopy techniques, it is possible to carry out detailed observations of magnetic domains, both ferromagnetic and antiferromagnetic, and in thin film and multilayer magnetic elements. We also have projects employing both X-ray and neutron scattering, and low energy muons to study large assemblies of nanoscale magnets.