Direct observation of magnetization dynamics generated by nano-contact spin-torque vortex oscillators
Physical Review B
American Physical Society
Time-resolved scanning Kerr microscopy has been used to directly image the magnetization dynamics of nano-contact (NC) spin-torque vortex oscillators (STVOs) when phase-locked to an injected microwave (RF) current. The Kerr images reveal free layer magnetization dynamics that extend outside the NC footprint, where they cannot be detected electrically, but which are crucial to phase-lock STVOs that share common magnetic layers. For a single NC, dynamics were observed not only when the STVO frequency was fully locked to that of the RF current, but also for a partially locked state characterized by periodic changes in the core trajectory at the RF frequency. For a pair of NCs, images reveal the spatial character of dynamics that electrical measurements show to have enhanced amplitude and reduced linewidth. Insight gained from these images may improve understanding of the conditions required for mutual phase-locking of multiple STVOs, and hence enhanced microwave power emission.
The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council under grants EP/I038470/1 and EP/K008501/1, the Royal Society under grant UF080837, the Swedish Research Council (VR), the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF), and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation (KAW).
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from the publisher via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 94, 060402