Publications by Thorsten Hesjedal


Proposal of a micromagnetic standard problem for ferromagnetic resonance simulations

ArXiv arXiv (2016)

AA Baker, M Beg, G Ashton, M Albert, D Chernyshenko, W Wang, S Zhang, M-A Bisotti, M Franchin, CL Lu, R Stamps, T Hesjedal, H Fangohr

Nowadays, micromagnetic simulations are a common tool for studying a wide range of different magnetic phenomena, including the ferromagnetic resonance. A technique for evaluating reliability and validity of different micromagnetic simulation tools is the simulation of proposed standard problems. We propose a new standard problem by providing a detailed specification and analysis of a sufficiently simple problem. By analyzing the magnetization dynamics in a thin permalloy square sample, triggered by a well defined excitation, we obtain the ferromagnetic resonance spectrum and identify the resonance modes via Fourier transform. Simulations are performed using both finite difference and finite element numerical methods, with OOMMF and Nmag simulators, respectively. We report the effects of initial conditions and simulation parameters on the character of the observed resonance modes for this standard problem. We provide detailed instructions and code to assist in using the results for evaluation of new simulator tools, and to help with numerical calculation of ferromagnetic resonance spectra and modes in general.


Anisotropic absorption of pure spin currents

Physical Review Letters American Physical Society 116 (2016) 047201

AI Figueroa, CJ Love, SA Cavill, T Hesjedal, G van der Laan, A Baker

Spin transfer in magnetic multilayers offers the possibility of ultra-fast, low-power device operation. We report a study of spin pumping in spin valves, demonstrating that a strong anisotropy of spin pumping from the source layer can be induced by an angular dependence of the total Gilbert damping parameter, a, in the spin sink layer. Using lab- and synchrotron-based ferromagnetic resonance, we show that an in-plane variation of damping in a crystalline leads to an anisotropic a in a polycrystalline . This anisotropy is suppressed above the spin diffusion length in Cr, which is found to be 8 nm, and is independent of static exchange coupling in the spin valve. These results offer a valuable insight into the transmission and absorption of spin currents, and a mechanism by which enhanced spin torques and angular control may be realized for next-generation spintronic devices.


Engineering helimagnetism in MnSi thin films

AIP Advances American Institute of Physics 6 (2016) 015217

AA Baker, S Zhang, R Chalasani, N-J Steinke, AI Figueroa, A Kohn, G van der Laan, T Hesjedal

Magnetic skyrmion materials have the great advantage of a robust topological magnetic structure, which makes them stable against the superparamagnetic effect and therefore a candidate for the next-generation of spintronic memory devices. Bulk MnSi, with an ordering temperature of 29.5 K, is a typical skyrmion system with a propagation vector periodicity of ∼18 nm. One crucial prerequisite for any kind of application, however, is the observation and precise control of skyrmions in thin films at room-temperature. Strain in epitaxial MnSi thin films is known to raise the transition temperature to 43 K. Here we show, using magnetometry and x-ray spectroscopy, that the transition temperature can be raised further through proximity coupling to a ferromagnetic layer. Similarly, the external field required to stabilize the helimagnetic phase is lowered. Transmission electron microscopy with element-sensitive detection is used to explore the structural origin of ferromagnetism in these Mn-doped substrates. Our work suggests that an artificial pinning layer, not limited to the MnSi/Si system, may enable room temperature, zero-field skyrmion thin-film systems, thereby opening the door to device applications.


Atomic level structural and chemical analysis of Cr-doped Bi₂Se₃

Scientific Reports Nature Publishing Group 6 (2016) 26549

A Ghasemi, D Kepaptsoglou, LJ Collins-McIntyre, T Hesjedal, Q Ramasse, VK Lazarov

We present a study of the structure and chemical composition of the Cr-doped 3D topological insulator Bi2Se3. Single-crystalline thin films were grown by molecular beam epitaxy on Al2O3 (0001), and their structural and chemical properties determined on an atomic level by aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy and electron energy loss spectroscopy. A regular quintuple layer stacking of the Bi2Se3 film is found, with the exception of the first several atomic layers in the initial growth. The spectroscopy data give direct evidence that Cr is preferentially substituting for Bi in the Bi2Se3 host. We also show that Cr has a tendency to segregate at internal grain boundaries of the Bi2Se3 film.


Organic Transistors: Universal Magnetic Hall Circuit Based on Paired Spin Heterostructures (Adv. Electron. Mater. 6/2015)

Advanced Electronic Materials 1 (2016)

S Zhang, AA Baker, JY Zhang, G Yu, S Wang, T Hesjedal


Transverse field muon-spin rotation measurement of the topological anomaly in a thin film of MnSi

Physical Review B: Condensed Matter and Materials Physics American Physical Society 93 (2016) 140412(R)

T Lancaster, F Xiao, Z Salman, IO Thomas, SJ Blundell, F Pratt, SJ Clark, T Prokscha, A Suter, SL Zhang, AA Baker, T Hesjedal

We present the results of transverse-field muon-spin rotation measurements on an epitaxially grown 40-nm-thick film of MnSi on Si(111) in the region of the field-temperature phase diagram where a skyrmion phase has been observed in the bulk. We identify changes in the quasistatic magnetic field distribution sampled by the muon, along with evidence for magnetic transitions around T≈40 and 30 K. Our results suggest that the cone phase is not the only magnetic texture realized in film samples for out-of-plane fields.


Magnetic ordering in Ho-doped Bi2Te3 topological insulator thin films

Physica Status Solidi: Rapid Research Letters Wiley 10 (2016) 467–470-

AI Figueroa, SE Harrison, LJ Collins-McIntyre, G van der Laan, T Hesjedal

We investigate the magnetic properties of Ho-doped Bi2Te3 thin films grown by molecular beam epitaxy. Analysis of the polarized x-ray absorption spectra at the Ho M5 absorption edge gives an effective 4f magnetic moment which is ~45% of the Hund's rule ground state value. X-ray magnetic circular dichroism (XMCD) shows no significant anisotropy, which suggests that the reduced spin moment is not due to the crystal field effects, but rather the presence of non-magnetic or antiferromagnetic Ho sites. Extrapolating the temperature dependence of the XMCD measured in total electron yield and fluorescence yield mode in a field of 7 T gives a Curie-Weiss temperature of \theta_CW ~ -30 K, which suggests antiferromagnetic ordering, in contrast to the paramagnetic behavior observed with SQUID magnetometry. From the anomaly of the XMCD signal at low temperatures, a Neel temperature TN between 10 K and 25 K is estimated.


Resonant elastic x-ray scattering from the skyrmion lattice in Cu₂OSeO₃

Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics American Physical Society 93 (2016) 214420-

S Zhang, A Bauer, H Berger, C Pfleiderer, G van der Laan, T Hesjedal

We report the study of the skyrmion state near the surface of Cu₂OSeO₃ using soft resonant elastic x-ray scattering (REXS) at the Cu L₃ edge. Within the lateral sampling area of 200 × 200 µm², we found a long-range-ordered skyrmion lattice phase as well as the formation of skyrmion domains via the multiple splitting of the diffraction spots. In a recent REXS study of the skyrmion phase of Cu₂OSeO₃ [Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 167202 (2014)], Langner et al. reported a double-splitting which they interpret as arising from the moiré pattern of two superposed skyrmion sublattices, originating from the two inequivalent Cu sites. However, we find no energy splitting of the Cu peak in xray absorption measurements, which is to be expected considering the system in more detail. We show that the experimental data reported by Langner et al. does not support their interpretation and discuss alternative origins of the peak splitting. In particular, we find that for magnetic field directions deviating from the major cubic axes, a multidomain skyrmion lattice state is obtained, which consistently explains the splitting of the magnetic spots into two—and more—peaks.


Spin pumping through a topological insulator probed by x-ray detected ferromagnetic resonance

Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials Elsevier 400 (2015) 178-183

A Baker, AI Figueroa, L Collins-McIntyre, T Hesjedal, G van der Laan

In the field of spintronics, the generation of a pure spin current (without macroscopic charge flow) through spin pumping of a ferromagnetic (FM) layer opens up the perspective of a new generation of dissipation-less devices. Microwave driven ferromagnetic resonance (FMR) can generate a pure spin current that enters adjacent layers, allowing for both magnetization reversal (through spin-transfer torque) and to probe spin coherence in non-magnetic materials. However, standard FMR is unable to probe multilayer dynamics directly, since the measurement averages over the contributions from the whole system. The synchrotron radiation-based technique of x-ray detected FMR (XFMR) offers an elegant solution to this drawback, giving access to element-, site-, and layer-specific dynamical measurements in heterostructures. In this work, we show how XFMR has provided unique information to understand spin pumping and spin transfer torque effects through a topological insulator (TI) layer in a pseudo-spin valve heterostructure. We demonstrate that TIs function as efficient spin sinks, while also allowing a limited dynamic coupling between ferromagnetic layers. These results shed new light on the spin dynamics of this novel class of materials, and suggest future directions for the development of room temperature TI-based spintronics.


Oxidation effects in rare earth doped topological insulator thin films

Scientific Reports Nature Publishing Group 6 (2016)

AI Figueroa, G van der Laan, SE Harrison, G Cibin, T Hesjedal

The breaking of time-reversal symmetry (TRS) in topological insulators is a prerequisite for unlocking their exotic properties and for observing the quantum anomalous Hall effect (QAHE). The incorporation of dopants which exhibit magnetic long-range order is the most promising approach for TRS-breaking. REBiTe3, wherein 50% of the Bi is substitutionally replaced by a RE atom (RE=Gd, Dy, and Ho), is a predicted QAHE system. Despite the low solubility of REs in bulk crystals of a few %, highly doped thin films have been demonstrated, which are free of secondary phases and of high crystalline quality. Here we study the effects of exposure to atmosphere of rare rarth-doped Bi2(Se,Te)3 thin films using x-ray absorption spectroscopy. We demonstrate that these RE dopants are all trivalent and effectively substitute for Bi3+ in the Bi2(Se,Te)3 matrix. We find an unexpected high degree of sample oxidation for the most highly doped samples, which is not restricted to the surface of the films. In the low doping limit, the RE-doped films mostly show surface oxidation, which can be prevented by surface passivation, encapsulation, or in-situ cleaving to recover the topological surface state.


On the temperature dependence of spin pumping in ferromagnet–topological insulator–ferromagnet spin valves

Results in Physics Elsevier 6 (2016) 293-294

AA Baker, AI Figueroa, G van der Laan, T Hesjedal

Topological insulators (TIs) have a large potential for spintronics devices owing to their spinpolarized, counter-propagating surface states. Recently, we have investigated spin pumping in a ferromagnet-TI-ferromagnet structure at room temperature. Here, we present the temperature-dependent measurement of spin pumping down to 10 K, which shows no variation with temperature.


Multidomain Skyrmion Lattice State in Cu₂OSeO₃

Nano Letters American Chemical Society 16 (2016) 3285–3291-

DM Burn, P Milde, E Neuber, LM Eng, H Berger, G van der Laan, T Hesjedal, SL Zhang, A Bauer, C Pfleiderer

Magnetic skyrmions in chiral magnets are nanoscale, topologically-protected magnetization swirls that are promising candidates for spintronics memory carriers. Therefore, observing and manipulating the skyrmion state on the surface level of the materials are of great importance for future applications. Here, we report a controlled way of creating a multidomain skyrmion state near the surface of a Cu₂OSeO₃ single crystal, observed by soft resonant elastic x-ray scattering. This technique is an ideal tool to probe the magnetic order at the L₃ edge of 3d metal compounds giving a depth sensitivity of ~50 nm. The single-domain sixfold-symmetric skyrmion lattice can be broken up into domains overcoming the propagation directions imposed by the cubic anisotropy by applying the magnetic field in directions deviating from the major cubic axes. Our findings open the door to a new way to manipulate and engineer the skyrmion state locally on the surface, or on the level of individual skyrmions, which will enable applications in the future.


The Magneto-Hall Difference and the Planar Extraordinary Hall Balance

AIP Advances American Institute of Physics (2016)

T Hesjedal, SL Zhang

The extraordinary Hall balance (EHB) is a general device concept that harnesses the net extraordinary Hall effect (EHE) arising from two independent magnetic layers, which are electrically in parallel. Different EHB behavior can be achieved by tuning the strength and type of interlayer coupling, i.e., ferromagnetic or antiferromagnetic of varying strength, allowing for logic and memory applications. The physics of the EHE in such a multilayered systems, especially the interface-induced effect, will be discussed. A discrepancy between the magnetization and the Hall effect, called the magneto-Hall difference (MHD) is found, which is not expected in conventional EHE systems. By taking advantage of the MHD effect, and by optimizing the materials structure, magnetoresistance ratios in excess of 40,000% can be achieved at room-temperature. We present a new design, the planar EHB, which has the potential to achieve significantly larger magnetoresistance ratios.


Local Structure and Bonding of Transition Metal Dopants in Bi2Se3 Topological Insulator Thin Films

JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY C 119 (2015) 17344-17351

AI Figueroa, G van der Laan, LJ Collins-McIntyre, G Cibin, AJ Dent, T Hesjedal


Exchange spring switching in Er-doped DyFe2/YFe2 magnetic thin films

PHYSICAL REVIEW B 92 (2015) ARTN 104404

GBG Stenning, GJ Bowden, PAJ de Groot, G van der Laan, AI Figueroa, P Bencok, P Steadman, T Hesjedal


Massive Dirac fermion observed in lanthanide-doped topological insulator thin films

Scientific Reports Nature Publishing Group 5 (2015) 15767

SE Harrison, LJ Collins-McIntyre, P Schönherr, A Vailionis, V Srot, PA van Aken, AJ Kellock, A Pushp, B Zhou, SSP Parkin, JS Harris, T Hesjedal, YL Chen

The breaking of time reversal symmetry (TRS) in three-dimensional (3D) topological insulators (TIs), and thus the opening of a ‘Dirac-mass gap’ in the linearly dispersed Dirac surface state, is a prerequisite for unlocking exotic physical states. Introducing ferromagnetic long-range order by transition metal doping has been shown to break TRS. Here, we present the study of lanthanide (Ln) doped Bi2Te3, where the magnetic doping with high-moment lanthanides promises large energy gaps. Using molecular beam epitaxy, single-crystalline, rhombohedral thin films with Ln concentrations of up to ~35%, substituting on Bi sites, were achieved for Dy, Gd, and Ho doping. Angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy shows the characteristic Dirac cone for Gd and Ho doping. In contrast, for Dy doping above a critical doping concentration, a gap opening is observed via the decreased spectral intensity at the Dirac point, indicating a topological quantum phase transition persisting up to room-temperature.


Topological computation based on direct magnetic logic communication

Scientific Reports Nature Publishing Group 5 (2015)

S Zhang, AA Baker, S Komineas, T Hesjedal

Non-uniform magnetic domains with non-trivial topology, such as vortices and skyrmions, are proposed as superior state variables for nonvolatile information storage. So far, the possibility of logic operations using topological objects has not been considered. Here, we demonstrate numerically that the topology of the system plays a significant role for its dynamics, using the example of vortex-antivortex pairs in a planar ferromagnetic film. Utilising the dynamical properties and geometrical confinement, direct logic communication between the topological memory carriers is realised. This way, no additional magnetic-to-electrical conversion is required. More importantly, the information carriers can spontaneously travel up to ~300 nm, for which no spin-polarised current is required. The derived logic scheme enables topological spintronics, which can be integrated into large-scale memory and logic networks capable of complex computations.


Local electronic and structural environment of transition metal doped Bi2Se3 topological insulator thin films

Journal of Physical Chemistry C (2015)

AI Figuorea, G van der Laan, Collins-McIntyre, G Cibin, AJ Dent, T Hesjedal

Transition metal (TM) doped topological insulators have been the focus of many recent studies since they exhibit exotic quantum and magneto-electric effects, and offer the prospect of potential applications in spintronic devices. Here we report a systematic study of the local electronic and structural environment using x-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS) in TM (= Cr, Mn, and Fe) doped Bi2Se3 thin films grown by molecular beam epitaxy. Analysis of the TM K-edge XAFS reveals a divalent character for Cr, Mn, and Fe when substituting Bi in the films, despite the trivalent character of the Bi. All dopants occupy octahedral sites in the Bi2Se3 lattice, which agrees with substitutional incorporation onto the Bi sites. With the incorporation of TM dopants a local structural relaxation of the Bi2Se3 lattice is observed, which strengthens the covalent character of the TM–Se bond. The presence of additional phases and interstitial incorporation for the Mn and Fe dopants is also observed, even at low concentrations.


Angular control of a hybrid magnetic metamolecule using anisotropic FeCo

Physical Review Applied American Physical Society 4 (2015) 054015

G van der Laan, GJ Bowden, SA Gregory, LC Maple, GBG Stenning, T Hesjedal

By coupling magnetic elements to metamaterials, hybrid metamolecules can be created with useful properties such as photon-magnon mode mixing. Here, we present results for a split-ring resonator (SRR) placed in close proximity to a thin crystalline film of magnetically hard FeCo. Eddy-current shielding is suppressed by patterning the FeCo into 100-μm disks. At the ferromagnetic resonance (FMR) condition of FeCo, photon-magnon coupling strengths of 5% are observed. Altogether, three distinct features are presented and discussed: (i) remanent magnets allow FMR to be performed in a near-zero field, partially eliminating the need for applied fields; (ii) the anisotropic FMR permits angular control over hybrid SRR and FMR resonances; and (iii) the in-plane and out-of-plane magnetization of FeCo opens the door to “magnetically configurable metamaterials” in real time. Finally, a special study is presented of how best to excite the numerous transverse magnetic and electric modes of the SRR by using near-field excitation from a coplanar waveguide.


Study of Ho-doped Bi2Te3 topological insulator thin films

Applied Physics Letters American Institute of Physics 107 (2015) 1-1

SE Harrison, LJ Collins-McIntyre, S Zhang, AA Baker, YL Chen, A Pushp, JS Harris, T Hesjedal, G van der Laan, AI Figueroa, AJ Kellock, SSP Parkin

Breaking time-reversal symmetry through magnetic doping of topological insulators has been identified as a key strategy for unlocking exotic physical states. Here, we report the growth of Bi2Te3 thin films doped with the highest magnetic moment element Ho. Diffraction studies demonstrate high quality films for up to 21% Ho incorporation. Superconducting quantum interference device magnetometry reveals paramagnetism down to 2 K with an effective magnetic moment of ~mu_B/Ho. Angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy shows that the topological surface state remains intact with Ho doping, consistent with the material’s paramagnetic state. The large saturation moment achieved makes these films useful for incorporation into heterostructures, whereby magnetic order can be introduced via interfacial coupling.

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