Functional Thin Films

Exchange Bias

Fundamental research is conducted to gain insight into the dependence of magnetic properties of thin, exchange biased layers on the deposition parameters as well as thermal and ion-induced processes. The focus of the experiments lies in the understanding of the change of inherent magnetic material constants, the formation of domain structures and their dynamics in external magnetic fields. Based on the results theoretical models can be created and optimized to fully describe the static and dynamic processes in magnetic thin films.

novel magnetic materials

The fabrication and development of magnetic nano- and microstructures in up to three dimensions is the main issue of the research focus “novel magnetic materials”. Thereby, the focus is on the design of novel magnetic stray field landscapes, achieved by specific creation of magnetic domains in exchange biased layer systems, in order to advance and enhance recent applications. A further aspect in research is the engineering of magnetic objects on the micro- and nanoscale. These objects are designed to have defined magnetic properties exactly tailored for the respective application.

applications

The use of tailored magnetic field landscapes above magnetically engineered ex-change bias thin film systems opens up novel perspectives for the remote manipulation of micro- and nanoscale magnetic objects in microfluidic applications, e.g. lab-on-a-chip, with a particular focus on point-of-care testing for medical purposes. Be-sides the manipulation of molecular self-assembly procedures, the dynamic interplay with tunable external magnetic field sequences enables the precise adjustment of the magnetic objects’ motion characteristics, i.e. their spatial orientation and velocity, respectively, as well as a change in the magnetic object’s shape in case of novel hybrid materials. Consequently, these magnetic objects can be used for a broad range of applications, i.e. active mixing of microfluidic volumes, the specific recognition of molecular species (e.g. disease relevant proteins) and its quantitative detection in biosensors.