Physics Department 'E.R. Caianiello', University of Salerno, Fisciano, Italy. CNR-SPIN, Fisciano, Italy.
We present a new procedure that takes advantage of the magnetic flux quantization of superconducting vortices to calibrate the magnetic properties of tips for magnetic force microscopy (MFM). Indeed, a superconducting vortex, whose quantized flux is dependent upon Plank constant, speed of light and electron charge, behaves as a very well defined magnetic reference object. The proposed calibration procedure has been tested on new and worn tips and shows that the monopole point-like approximation of the probe is a reliable model. This procedure has been then applied to perform quantitative MFM experiments on a soft ferromagnetic thin film of permalloy, leading to the determination of the local out-of-plane component of the canted magnetization, together with its spatial variations across a few μm scan area.
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