Competing interactions in artificial spin chains
AbstractThe low-energy magnetic configurations of artificial, frustrated classical spin chains are investigated using magnetic force microscopy and micromagnetic simulations. Contrary to most studies on two-dimensional artificial spin systems in which frustration arises from the lattice geometry, here magnetic frustration originates from competing interactions between neighboring spins. By tuning continuously the strength and sign of these interactions, we show that different magnetic phases can be stabilized. Comparison between our experimental findings and predictions from the one-dimensional anisotropic next-nearest-neighbor Ising model reveals that artificial frustrated spin chains have a richer phase diagram than initially expected. In addition to the observation of several magnetic orders and the potential extension of this work to highly degenerated artificial spin chains, our results suggest that the micromagnetic nature of the individual magnetic elements allows for the observation of metastable spin configurations.