Near-field magneto-optical analysis in reflection mode SNOM

S Takahashi, W Dickson, R Pollard, A Zayats

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Observation of magnetic domains with in-plane magnetisations is demonstrated by scanning near-field optical microscopy (SNOM) in reflection mode. The longitudinal and transverse magneto-optical Kerr effects are employed as the contrast mechanisms; these are observed as either a change in the polarisation of the reflected light or reflectance, depending on magnetisation direction. SNOM images of Co and Ni thin films show magneto-optical contrast depending on polarisation of the incident and detected light. For the smooth cobalt thin films, the orientation for magnetic domains is estimated, based on the correlation between the contrasts in SNOM images obtained in different polarisation configurations and the directions of the magnetic vectors of the incident and reflected light. For the nickel films with pronounced topographic structures, the resulting near-field polarisation dependencies are more complicated, suggesting that the magneto-optical contrast in SNOM images are affected by the topographic cross-talk due to the depolarisation effects on surface topographic features.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-447
Number of pages5
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2004


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