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We study the effect of perpendicular single-ion anisotropy, , on the ground-state structure and finite-temperature properties of a two-dimensional magnetic nanodot in presence of a dipolar interaction of strength . By a simulated annealing Monte Carlo method, we show that in the ground state a vortex core perpendicular to the nanodot plane emerges already in the range of moderate anisotropy values above a certain threshold level. In the giant-anisotropy regime the vortex structure is superseded by a stripe domain structure with stripes of alternate domains perpendicular to the surface of the sample. We have also observed an intermediate stage between the vortex and stripe structures, with satellite regions of tilted nonzero perpendicular magnetization around the core. At finite temperatures, at small , we show by Monte Carlo simulations that there is a transition from the the in-plane vortex phase to the disordered phase characterized by a peak in the specific heat and the vanishing vortex order parameter. At stronger , we observe a discontinuous transition with a large latent heat from the in-plane vortex phase to perpendicular stripe ordering phase before a total disordering at higher temperatures. In the regime of perpendicular stripe domains, namely with giant , there is no phase transition at finite : the stripe domains are progressively disordered with increasing . Finite-size effects are shown and discussed.


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