This NSF-Europe award to University of Toledo is to explore different methods to optimize the growth of thin film magnets with high anisotrophy, and to determine their structural and magnetic properties. Following aspects of thin film and nano-magnetism will be studied: (i) the growth of nano-magnets and magnetic films with high anisotropy such as Iron-Platinum films and nanostructures by ion bombardment; (ii) the structural and magnetic characterization of these nano-magnets and films; (iii) element specific magnetic characterization and anisotropy investigations using magnetic circular dichroism; (iv) the study of epitaxial Vanadium and Vanadium-Iron films and nanostructures on Magnesium Oxide to search for ferromagnetic phases; and (v) magnetization dynamics in the ultra-fast (femto-second) regime in particular the magnetization switching of high anisotropy materials. Processing and characterization of magnetic films and nano-magnets will be in collaboration with the European partner, the Institute for Microelectronics, Madrid, Spain (IMM).
The research will contribute new insight into magnetic properties of materials used for data storage, especially the potential development of means to produce fine, perpendicular, magnetic domains. The broader impact in terms of educational experience, diversity and outreach activities is extremely strong, with active interactions with high school, undergraduate and graduate students. Planned education as well as fostering activities will build awareness of science and education among the community at large and for underrepresented groups.