Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM)

Simultaneously image magnetic and topographic properties

The study of magnetic forces at the nanometer scale has long been of interest to investigators of magnetic recording materials, superconductors, and magnetic nanoparticles, among others. Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM) is a secondary imaging mode derived from TappingMode™ that maps the magnetic force gradient above the sample surface while simultaneously obtaining topographical data.

MFM relies on a patented two-pass technique, LiftMode. The system alternates scan lines at the sample surface and at a designated Lift Height above the sample surface, to separately measure topography and magnetic force, respectively.

MFM can be used to image both naturally occurring and deliberately written domain structures in magnetic materials.

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MFM image of bit-patterned media. Most of the dots are single domain, with either up or down magnetization. However, some of the dots also reveal an internal magnetic domain structure with up and down domains within one dot, indicating magnetic damage tha