The surface of magnetic materials as a key to their significant properties

Touch is one of humans actively used senses to explore the surrounding world. The progress in technical development, for instance microscopes, enables us to investigate surface properties of different materials deeper than human senses. A LUT University dissertation in physics sheds light on the microscopy investigation of magnetic materials.

Starting from birth humans enthusiastically study various objects and their surfaces with human research equipment, fingers. The progress in technical development has allowed humanity to go much deeper in surface properties, broaden the view and see smaller details.

"Atomic force microscope, for instance, has led to the surface visualization of even the finest details, up to atomic resolution", explains Ekaterina Soboleva, Junior researcher at LUT University.

Soboleva continues that the mentioned scientific equipment is based on the principle of touching and feeling the surface with a finger, where a special probe plays the role of our finger.

Human interest in the surface from birth might be caused by nature's endowing the surface with many unique properties. Those properties have a significant role in attempts to explain and visualize the phenomena observed by other research methods or predicted by simulation.

Additionally, the trend to decrease the size and weight of every day used gadgets leads to investigations of previously unknown physical properties caused by the surface effects.

In her dissertation Soboleva focused on analyzing the surface of magnetic materials.

"Magnetic materials have plenty of applications in the modern industry. Optoelectronics and photovoltaics, mobile phones, noise reduction devices, computer hard disks, electric motors, transformers, various sensors and detectors, shape memory alloys -the list of even the most widespread applications is long", Soboleva says.

In Soboleva's research the goal was to analyze the surface of magnetic materials and identify those features of the material that could explain the previously observed properties. Moreover, the materials were studied under the conditions of changing temperature.

"It was necessary to visualize phase transitions and explain their nature. The use of Magnetic Force microscopy in the research confirmed the properties obtained by other volume methods. Moreover, the calculation of magnetic domains was based on the surface analysis. This helps to understand the overall behavior of the magnetic materials better", Soboleva concludes.  

Ekaterina Soboleva, Master of Science in Technology, will defend her doctoral dissertation in the field of technical physics at LUT on 12th of February at noon, room 1318. Her dissertation is titled Microscopy investigation of the surface of some modern magnetic materials. Docent Pekka Laukkanen of University of Turku will act as opponent. Professor Erkki Lähderanta of LUT University will act as custos.

Link to follow the event remotely: https://lut.zoom.us/j/67112299469
Link to the electronic version of the dissertation in LUTPub-database http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-335-630-6.

Further information:

Ekaterina Soboleva, Junior researcher, LUT University, Ekaterina.Soboleva@lut.fi

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