Date of Award

5-2003

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Physics

Major Professor

E.W. Plummer

Abstract

Nanostructuring has introduced us to a new world of tunable, artificially structured materials. An exciting aspect of this new world is that we control where the atoms, or layers of atoms, are arranged in materials and have learned that this can awaken new properties in them. But, we are only at the beginning stages in developing this control and an understanding of what can be done with it. This. dissertation is about an important part of finding our way in this new world; learning to tailor magnetic nanostructures on surfaces. We begin by showing ways in which the magnetic properties of ultrathin films, nanostripes, and isolated nanoclusters can be systematically varied in order to teach us about their behavior. The ultrathin films are from the historically challenging Fe/Cu(l00) system. We use small fractions of a single layer of cobalt capping atoms to control their magnetization direction and find a completely new way to cause the magnetization direction to reorient. The nanostripes are made of alloys of iron and cobalt on a tungsten surface. We explore how the magnetic ordering in these stripes is affected by variation of their composition. We then show how changing the size and spacing of isolated Fe dots on a copper surface can teach us about magnetic interactions between them. Finally, we show how our ability to synthesize the dots represented the last piece in an important puzzle. This work enables us to make the first direct observation of how the magnetic properties of a particular amount of a single material change as it is prepared in the form of an ultrathin film, wire array, or dot assembly on a common template.

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