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Schematic of our experimental setup, which allows for an azimuthal sample rotation with respect to the applied magnetic field within the MOKE magnetometer. The in-plane applied field angle θ is defined with respect to the easy axis of the magnetization. The inset displays the angular dependence of the remanent magnetization normalized to the saturation value M0 (dots) for one of our Co-film samples in comparison to the ideal Stoner-Wohlfarth single particle model (solid line).
Single-shot hysteresis loop measurements for a 30 nm thick Co-film, with the orientation of the applied field (a) along, (b) 20° away, (c) 35° away, and (d) 60° away from the easy axis. The solid line in each plot serves as a guide to the eye.
Kerr microscopy images of a 30 nm thick uniaxial Co-film taken during magnetization reversal for different orientations of the applied field. The brightness is proportional to the local in-plane magnetization value. The orientation of the applied magnetic field is (a) along, (b) 5° away, (c) 30° away, and (d) 60° away from the easy axis. The inset in (b) shows an occasionally observed transient state in the same configuration as in the main image (b). The images were taken at magnetic field values of 27.3 Oe, 27.1 Oe, 26.3 Oe, and 25.1 Oe for image (a)–(d), respectively, which corresponds to H = Hs for all field orientations.
Color-coded M(θ,H) magnetization maps for (a) the decreasing and (b) the increasing field branches of magnetic hysteresis loops in the vicinity of the magnetization reversal regime. The magnetization data are vertically centered and normalized by referencing the field values to the switching field HS (which is defined as positive for both branches) for each hysteresis loop. The data in (b) have been plotted as −M(θ,−H) in order to make them visually comparable to the data in (a). The inset in (a) shows the M(θ,H) map for a Co-film with very high crystallographic order in comparison.
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