Technology for Polarization Measurement

Magnetic Materials

Magnetic materials constitute the backbone of modern information storage technology, and recent trends in nano material development indicate this dependence will continue. For those seeking to understand and quantify magnetic material performance in memory applications, the Magneto-Optic Kerr Effect (MOKE) has become the primary method for studying the coercivity and remanence of these materials.

MOKE occurs when polarized light reflects off thin films and other magnetic material surfaces. Photoelastic modulators (PEMs) are widely acknowledged as the premier tool for evaluating this MOKE effect and the resulting hysteresis loops, from which coercivity and remanence can be determined. Their value is the unsurpassed sensitivity afforded the measurement of these phenomena, as noted in this assessment by a pioneer in the field:

“To make observations of Kerr magneto-optical effects on bulk samples is difficult enough. To do so at the atomic level, without modern light sources and optical modulation techniques, would be virtually impossible. However, it is the particular technological advantages, robustness and convenience of the Photoelastic Modulator (PEM) system that makes it possible to detect magneto-optical signals produced by sub-atomic magnetic layers relatively easily.”

- Prof. R. Atkinson, Queens University, Belfast, Retired

Hinds technology offers different levels of solution support to laboratory researchers across a wide range of magnetic material research applications, whether evaluating the frontiers of magnetic films or simply tweaking the memory characteristics of an existing substrate. Principle solutions include:

PEMlabs Optics Package – the core optical and signal recovery components of a user defined and constructed hysteresis loop system, and
Complete Exicor® Hysteresis Loop Tracer Systems – for immediate measurement productivity from a calibrated, ready-to-use research grade solution, including integrated magnet and, where needed, cryostat.