Scientific Highlights

Datum
27 January 2020
Inner Structure of a Butterfly Wing Scale

Soft X-ray Laminography: 3D imaging with powerful contrast mechanisms

3D imaging using synchrotron radiation is a widely used tool that allows access to the inner structure of complex objects. An international and interdisciplinary consortium of scientists from the Swiss Light Source (PolLux and cSAXs), the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, and the University of Cambridge developed the new 3D imaging technique of Soft X-ray Laminography (SoXL). SoXL allows for the investigation of thin and extended samples while taking advantage of the characteristic absorption contrast mechanisms in the soft X-ray range, providing 3D information with nm spatial resolution.

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17 September 2019
Quasi-static XMCD-STXM images of the current-induced nucleation and field-induced deletion of a magnetic skyrmion.

Nano-engineered contact for the zero-field nucleation of magnetic skyrmions

Researchers in a joint collaboration between the PolLux endstation of the Swiss Light Source and the University of Leeds have achieved the reliable and reproducible electrical nucleation of magnetic skyrmions from a nano-engineered point contact structure, investigating the physical mechanisms driving the nucleation process.

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1 April 2019
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HERCULES school 2019 at SLS

In the week of April 1-5 PSI welcomes 20 PhD students and postdocs taking part in the European HERCULES 2019 school on Neutron and Synchrotron Radiation. They will attend lectures and perform two days of practical courses at several beam lines of the Swiss Light Source.

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10 December 2018
Scanning transmission x-ray microscopy images of the current- and magnetic field-induced domain wall motion process in a PMA material.

Sub-ns magnetic domain wall motion dynamics

Magnetic domain walls can be reliably displaced by electrical currents, allowing for the fabrication of retentive magnetic memory elements without mechanically moving parts, such as e.g. the magnetic racetrack memory. Researchers in a joint collaboration between the PolLux endstation of the Swiss Light Source and the University of Leeds were able to investigate the dynamics of magnetic domain wall motion with a sub-ns time step, providing a substantial step forward towards the unraveling of the physical processes behind the current- and magnetic field-induced motion of magnetic domains.

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16 October 2018
(a) Scanning transmission x-ray microscopy images of magnetic skyrmions stabilized in a nanostructured Pt/Co/Ir disc; (b) Skyrmion-dependent contribution to the Hall resistivity

Discrete Hall contribution of magnetic skyrmions

The reliable electrical detection of magnetic skyrmions is of fundamental importance for the application of such topological magnetic quasi-particles for data storage devices. Researchers in a joint collaboration between the University of Leeds and the PolLux endstation have investigated the electrical detection of isolated magnetic skyrmions in applications-relevant nanostructured devices, observing the presence of a strong skyrmion-dependent contribution to the Hall resistivity.

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16 May 2018

Creation and deletion of isolated magnetic skyrmions via electrical currents

The writing and deletion of magnetic Skyrmions is a fundamental step towards the fabrication of memory devices based on this promising spin configuration. Researchers at the Korea Institute of Technology have demonstrated the writing and deleting of isolated magnetic Skyrmions at room temperature in ferrimagnetic multilayer superlattice stacks using electrical currents.

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7 May 2018
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Fresnel Zone Plates with Zone Widths below 10 nm

The spot size of a Fresnel Zone Plate lens is mainly determined by the zone widths of its outermost zone. It is therefore essential to fabricate zone plates with structures as small as possible for high-resolution X-ray microscopy. Researchers at the Laboratory for Micro- and Nanotechnology at the PSI have now developed Fresnel zone plates with zone widths well below 10 nm, down to 6.4 nm. These lenses are capable of pushing resolution in X-ray microscopy to the single-digit regime.

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19 March 2018
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HERCULES at the Swiss Light Source

In the week of March 18-23 PSI welcomes 20 PhD students and postdocs taking part in the HERCULES 2018 school on Neutron and Synchrotron Radiation. They will attend lectures and perform two days of practical courses at several beam lines of the Swiss Light Source.

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