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Publication Detail
Melting artificial spin ice
Abstract
Artificial spin ice arrays of micromagnetic islands are a means of engineering additional energy scales and frustration into magnetic materials. Despite much progress in elucidating the properties of such arrays, the `spins' in the systems studied so far have no thermal dynamics as the kinetic constraints are too high. Here we address this problem by using a material with an ordering temperature near room temperature. By measuring the temperature dependent magnetization in different principal directions, and comparing with simulations of idealized statistical mechanical models, we confirm a dynamical `pre-melting' of the artificial spin ice structure at a temperature well below the intrinsic ordering temperature of the island material. We thus create a spin ice array that has real thermal dynamics of the artificial spins over an extended temperature range.
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Dept of Physics & Astronomy
University College London - Gower Street - London - WC1E 6BT Tel:+44 (0)20 7679 2000

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