Switchable field-tuned control of magnetic domain wall pinning along Co microwires by 3D e-beam lithographed structures
Three-dimensional magnetic circuits composed of Co microwires crossed by elevated Co bridges have been patterned on Si substrate by e-beam lithography and lift-off process. The lithographic procedure includes a double resist procedure that optimizes the shape of the bridge, so that 200 nm air gaps can be routinely achieved in between the wire and bridge elements. Microwire magnetization reversal processes have been analyzed by magneto-optical Kerr effect microscopy with different remanent bridge configurations. When the Co bridge is magnetized along the in-plane direction parallel to the wire axis, its stray field induces a marked pinning effect on domain wall propagation along the wire below it, even without being in contact. Changing the sign of the remanent state of the bridge, domain wall pinning can be selected to occur in either the ascending or descending branches of the wire hysteresis loop. Thus, these wire-bridge 3D circuits provide a simple system for tunable domain wall pinning controllable through the pre-recorded bridge remanent state.