Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Engineering and Applied Science



Major Professor

Spinu, Leonard

Second Advisor

Malkinski, Leszek

Third Advisor

Charalampidis, Dimitrios

Fourth Advisor

Ventrice, Carl

Fifth Advisor

Tang, Jinke


A study of magnetization dynamics experiments in nanostructured materials using the rf susceptibility tunnel diode oscillator (TDO) method is presented along with a extensive theoretical analysis. An original, computer controlled experimental setup that measures the change in susceptibility with the variation in external magnetic field and sample temperature was constructed. The TDO-based experiment design and construction is explained in detail, showing all the elements of originality. This experimental technique has proven reliable for characterizing samples with uncoupled magnetic structure and various magnetic anisotropies like: CrO2 , FeCo/IrMn and Co/SiO2 thin films. The TDO was subsequently used to explore the magnetization switching in coupled magnetic systems, like synthetic antiferromagnet (SAF) structures. Magnetoresistive random access memory (MRAM) is an important example of devices where the use of SAF structure is essential. To support the understanding of the SAF magnetic behavior, its configuration and application are reviewed and more details are provided in an appendix. Current problems in increasing the scalability and decreasing the error rate of MRAM devices are closely connected to the switching properties of the SAF structures. Several theoretical studies that were devoted to the understanding of the concepts of SAF critical curve are reviewed. As one can notice, there was no experimental determination of SAF critical curve, due to the difficulties in characterizing a magnetic coupled structure. Depending of the coupling strength between the two ferromagnetic layers, on the SAF critical curve one distinguishes several new features, inexistent in the case of uncoupled systems. Knowing the configuration of the SAF critical curve is of great importance in order to control its switching characteristics. For the first time a method of experimentally recording the critical curve for SAF is proposed in this work. In order to overcome technological limitations, a new way of recording the critical curve by using an additional magnetic bias field was explored.


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