Magnetic force microscopy revealing magnetism at the nanoscale

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Mogens Christensen


Aarhus University


DKK 1,300,000




Research Infrastructure


Understanding magnetisme on all legnth scales from atomic structure to macroscopic objects. Specifically is the project about investigations of magnetisme at the nanoscopic level. At the atomic- and macroscopic level magnetism is well understood, however concepts of interactions at the nanoscopic level is much less developed. The Magnetic Force Microscopy is an ideal tool to study magnetism and magnetic interactions at the nanoscale.


The project goal is to progress from today's phenomenological description of magnetism at the macroscopic level to investigating the nanoscale using MFM images. Magnetism is everywhere, it is behind the electricity in our wall sockets. It is converting motion in wind turbines and power plants to electricity. In our homes it is converting the electricity to motion in our electrical toothbrush, the compressor in our kitchen refrigerator etc. Understanding magnetism at all length scales allows improving the performance of magnets. Improved magnets will reduce the power consumption of our electrical equipment, nearly 50% of all electricity is used for electromotor applications.


The most exciting opportunity is to investigate exchange-spring magnets. In the exchange-spring magnet a hard and a soft magnetic material is combined in a magnetic nanocomposite. The hard magnets will be SrFe12O19 a rare-earth free hard magnets, while spinel ferrite will be used as soft phase. Through sophisticated chemical the two phases will be mixed at the nanolevel and the investigations with MFM will give guidance to have to optimize the performance.

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