New paper of the group

Extraordinary Chiral Exchange-Bias Phenomenon: Engineering the Sign of the Bias Field in Orthogonal Bilayers by a Magnetically Switchable Response Mechanism

Alberto Bollero, Volker Neu, Vincent Baltz, David Serantes, José Luis F. Cuñado, Javier Pedrosa, Ester M. Palmero, Marietta Seifert, Bernard Dieny, Rafael P. del Real, Manuel Vázquez, Oksana Chubykalo-Fesenko and Julio Camarero

Nanoscale, 2020

DOI: 10.1039/C9NR08852K

Isothermal tuning of magnitude and sign of the bias field has been achieved by exploiting a new phenomenon in a system consisting of two orthogonally coupled films: SmCo5 (out-of-plane anisotropy)-CoFeB (in-plane anisotropy). This has been managed by using the large dipolar magnetic field of the SmCo5 layer resulting in pinning one branch of the loop (either ascending or descending branch) at a fixed field value while the second one is modulated along the field axis by varying the orientation of an applied magnetic field. This enables the control of the sign of the bias field in a novel manner. Moreover, modulation of the bias field strength is possible by varying the thickness of a spacer between the SmCo5 and CoFeB layers. This study shows that the observed phenomena find their origin in the competition of artificially induced anisotropies on both layers, resulting in a reversible chiral bias effect that allows selecting the initial sign of the bias field by switching (upwards/downwards) the magnetization in the SmCo5 film.


The figure shows the in-plane hysteresis loops measured by MOKE with magnetic field applied at different in-plane angles for: (a) and (b) SmCo5(30nm)/spacer(4.3nm)/CoFeB(3nm); and (c) and (d) SmCo5(30nm)/spacer(12.8nm)/CoFeB(3nm). aH = 0° corresponds to applied magnetic field parallel to the easy axis direction of the Si/SiO2/CoFeB reference sample. Arrows are visual guides to show the continuous increase in coercivity when varying the field while keeping pinned one of the loop branches.


This work, in collaboration with IMDEA Nanoscience, Madrid; IFW Dresden; SPINTEC, Univ. Grenoble Alpes/CNRS/CEA and the Univ. Autónoma de Madrid, has been supported partly by the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness (MINECO) under project MAT2016-76824-C3-1-R and by the Regional Government of Madrid under project S2018/NMT-4321 NANOMAGCOST-CM. 


New paper of the group

«Exotic Transverse-Vortex Magnetic Configurations in CoNi Nanowires»

Ingrid Marie Andersen, Luis Alfredo Rodríguez, Cristina Bran, Cécile Marcelot, Sébastien Joulie, Teresa Hungria, Manuel Vázquez, Christophe Gatel and Etienne Snoeck

ACS Nano, December 11, 2019



The magnetic configurations of cylindrical Co-rich CoNi nanowires have been quantitatively analyzed at the nanoscale by electron holography and correlated to local structural and chemical properties. The nanowires display grains of both face-centered cubic (fcc) and hexagonal close-packed (hcp) crystal structures, with grain boundaries parallel to the nanowire axis direction. Electron holography evidences the existence of a complex exotic magnetic configuration characterized by two distinctly different types of magnetic configurations within a single nanowire: an array of periodical vortices separating small transverse domains in hcp rich regions with perpendicular easy axis orientation, and a mostly axial configuration parallel to the nanowire axis in regions with fcc grains. These vastly different domains are found to be caused by local variations in the chemical composition modifying the crystalline orientation and/or structure, which give rise to change in magnetic anisotropies. Micromagnetic simulations, including the structural properties that have been experimentally determined, allows for a deeper understanding of the complex magnetic states observed by electron holography.

This work derives from the current collaboration between our GNMP group and CEMES – CNRS, Toulouse, France. It has been partly supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness (MINECO) under project MAT2016-76824-C3-1-R and by the Regional Government of Madrid under project S2018/NMT-4321 NANOMAGCOST-CM

New book


«Magnetic Nano- and Microwires: Design, Synthesis, Properties and Applications»

2nd Edition, edited by Manuel Vázquez

ISBN: 9780081028322 (Woodhead Publishing, Elsevier) (2020), pp. 962

A Volume in the Woodhead Publishing Series in Electronic and Optical Materials. The most comprehensive reference available on magnetic nanowires and microwires.

Flyer of the Book


  • Details the multiple key techniques for the growth, processing and characterization of nanowires and microwires
  • Discusses magnetism and transport in nanowires, skyrmions and domain walls in nano and microwires and the latest innovations in magnetic imaging
  • Reviews the principles and difficulties involved in applying magnetic nano- and microwires to a wide range of technologies, including biomedical and sensing applications


Magnetic Nano-and Microwires: Design, Synthesis, Properties and Applications, Second Edition, reviews the growth and processing of nanowires and nanowire heterostructures using such methods as electrodeposition and sol-gel, focused-electron/ion-beam-induced deposition, epitaxial growth by chemical vapor transport, and ultrafast solidification. Other sections cover engineering nanoporous anodic alumina, discuss magnetic and transport properties, domains, domain walls in nano-and microwires, and provide updates on skyrmions, domain walls, magnetism and transport, and the latest techniques to characterize and analyze these effects.

Final sections cover applications, both current and emerging, and new chapters on memory, sensor, thermoelectric and nanorobotics applications. This book will be an ideal resource for academics and industry professionals working in the disciplines of materials science, physics, chemistry, electrical and electronic engineering and nanoscience.



New paper of the group

“Nanopatterned hard/soft bilayer magnetic antidot arrays with long-range periodicity”

Andreas Kaidatzis, Rafael P. del Real, Raquel Alvaro, Dimitrios Niarchos, Manuel Vázquez, José Miguel García-Martín

J. Magn. Magn. Mater., 2019, 166142



A top-down approach using focused ion beam has been employed to fabricate Co/Permalloy hard-soft bilayer magnetic antidot arrays. These nanopatterned films are studied with particular emphasis on magnetic coercivity. The antidots have a diameter of 40 nm and the studied antidot symmetries are square and hexagonal. A dependence of magnetic coercivity on the relative thicknesses of the magnetically hard (Co) and soft (Permalloy) layers is found; increasing Permalloy thickness results in lower magnetic coercivity. Furthermore, the long-range periodicity of top-down nanopatterned antidots results in higher magnetic coercivity and a stronger magnetic domain-wall pinning, compared to identical hard/soft bilayers of short-range order deposited on porous anodic alumina. The combination of antidot symmetry and hard/soft thickness, allow for efficient tailoring of the magnetic properties of nanopatterned thin films. Finally, magnetic force microscopy imaging of the antidot array magnetic configuration shows striking qualitative differences between the two array symmetries: square symmetry arrays have inhomogeneous magnetic state and a high density of immobile super-domain walls, whereas hexagonal symmetry arrays show a homogeneous magnetic configuration.

We show in the figure a representative MOKE hysteresis loops of antidot arrays. Square (left) and hexagonal (right) symmetries of the Co/Py-thin bilayer; the lattice constant is 240 nm; first and second neighbor directions, denoted by the angles, are shown: 0º and 45º, respectively, for the square array, and 0º and 30º, respectively, for the hexagonal array


This paper derives from a previous international collaboration funded by CSIC (Ref. i-LINK0783).  This study has been supported by the Comunidad de Madrid under  projects S2018/NMT-4291 TEC2SPACE and S2018/NMT-4321 NANOMAGCOST, and the Spanish MINECO under projects CSIC13-4E-1794 and MAT2016-76824-C3-1-R.


New paper of the group

“Time-resolved motion of a single domain wall controlled by a local tunable barrier”

Esther Calle, Manuel Vázquez and Rafael Pérez del Real

J. Magn. Magn. Mater., 2019, 166142



We report on the time-resolved dynamics of a single magnetic domain wall (DW) under the influence of a tunable barrier in a Fe-rich microwire. The energy barrier was created by applying a local magnetic field antiparallel to the uniform driving field used to depin and propagate the DW along the wire. This originates the braking and eventually the trapping of the DW depending on the magnitude of the antiparallel local field. The motion of the DW through the local field becomes stochastic for minimum magnetic field values close to the measured friction field (Hfr=24.4A/m). This phenomenon is caused by fluctuations in the pinning field associated to the different

types of local defects and residual stress existing in the wire. The probability for the DW to overcome the barrier has been estimated for different values of the local field. When the minimum applied field is lower than the fluctuating friction field the DW is always trapped.

In the figure we show the time-resolved DW velocity for Hprim=90.5A/m and Hmin=35.6A/m. Different colors mean the different stages during the nucleation and propagation of the DW: orange the nucleation and acceleration, pale pink the movement at steady velocity, blue the braking by the local field and green the braking and stopping when it is close to the end of the primary coil.


This work has been supported by the Spanish National Research Council under CSIC Project No. 201760E040 and by Comunidad Autónoma de Madrid under Project S2018/NMT-4321 NANOMAGCOST

New people in the group

Alexander Valeriano Inchausti is incorporated to the group to perform research on Magnetism of Microwires focused towards his Master Thesis, TFM. Alex is enrolled as Master student of Physics of the Condensed Mater and Biological Systems, at the Faculty of Physics, Autonomous University of Madrid.

New people in the group

Prof. Paula Bercoff from the University of Córdoba, Argentina, is visiting our GNMP group within the i-COOP project (COOPB20307) “Técnicas electroquímicas para el crecimiento de nanohilos magnéticos y desarrollo de un dispositivo magneto-óptico MOKE para su caracterización” supported by CSIC.

New paper of the group

“Transparent Magnetoelectric Materials for Advanced Invisible Electronic Applications”

R. Polícia, A.C. Lima, N. Pereira, E. Calle, M. Vázquez, S. Lanceros-Mendez and P. Martins

Adv. Electron. Mater. 2019, 1900280; DOI: 10.1002/aelm.201900280


The need for flexible and transparent smart materials is leading to substantial advances in principles, material combinations, and technologies. Particularly, the development of optically transparent magnetoelectric (ME) materials will open the range of applications to new directions such as transparent sensors, touch display panels, multifunctional flat panel displays, and optical magnetic coatings. In this work, a flexible and transparent ME composite is made of magnetostrictive Fe72.5Si12.5B15 microwires and piezoelectric poly(vinylidene fluoride-trifluoroethylene). The high magnetostriction of Fe72.5Si12.5B15 (35 ppm) enables superior ME voltage response (65 mV cm−1 Oe−1) obtained at the critical longitudinal magnetic field equating the transverse anisotropy (14500 A m−1) on the external shell of the microwire memory devices.

Left) Photographs of the composite placed on a written page, with (TOP) and without (DOWN) the PEDOT conductive layers, serving as electrodes; Right) Optical transmittance of the composites measured from 350 to 700 nm.

This paper derives from the collaboration between our GNMP team with the Departamento de Física, Universidade do Minho, Braga, Portugal.

iLINK meeting

On 28th and 29th we hold the kickoff meeting of the iLINK0052 project on “Nanorobots and Magnetic sensors based on Nanowires”. This enriching and discussion full meeting was attended by Dr. Olga Kazakova (NPL, Teddington, UK), Ass. Prof. Jürgen Kosel (KAUST, Saudi Arabia), Ass. Prof. Dieter Suess (University of Vienna), Dr. Xiangzhong Chen (ETH, Zurich), Dr. Christoph Vogler (University of Vienna) apart from staff members of ICMM/CSIC Manuel Vazquez, Agustina Asenjo, Oksana Chubykalo-Fesenko, Cristina Bran, Rafael Perez, David Navas, Alfredo Jacas, and Prof. Laura H. Lewis from Northeastern University, Boston.

New excursion of the group

The traditional summer excursion of the group took place June 26th to visit Sigüenza, the old Castilian city which origin goes back to the Celtiberian Segontia. After the 2 hours walk by the pines and under a suffocating sun to the nearby Natural Park, we had a comforting lunch. It was followed by the cultural visit to the medieval Castle and the gothic Cathedral that hosts the famous tomb of the Doncel.