Angular Dependence of Vortex Annihilation Fields in Asymmetric Co Dots

Dumas, Randy K.
Gredig, Thomas
Li, Chang-Peng
Schuller, Ivan K.
Liu, Kai
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Shape asymmetries in nominally circular nanomagnets provide a potential means for vortex chirality control. However, in realistic arrays their effects are challenging to probe since asymmetric magnetization reversal processes are often averaged to include distributions over all angles. Here we investigate how shape asymmetry influences the vortex reversal in arrays of sub-micron edge-cut Co dots. We find that the vortices can be manipulated to annihilate at particular sites under different field orientations and cycle sequences. The vortex annihilation field and degree of chirality control depend sensitively on the angular position of the applied field relative to the flat edge of the dots. For small angles, the major loop annihilation field is significantly larger than that found from the half loop and the vortex chirality can be well controlled. At intermediate angles the chirality control is lost and an interesting crossover in the annihilation field is found: the half loop actually extrudes outside of the major loop, exhibiting a larger vortex annihilation field. At large angles the annihilation fields along major and half loops become degenerate.
Comment: 18 pages, 5 figures, to appear in PRB
Condensed Matter - Materials Science