Magneto-optical Kerr microscope & magnetometer

The macroscopic properties of a magnetic material (hysteresis, energy loss, magnetic noise, etc) are determined by its magnetic microstructure, i.e. by magnetic domains and their reaction to magnetic field excitation. Therefore domain observation is essential for the development of magnetic materials and understanding of magnetization processes.

The evico magnetics Kerr Microscope & Magnetometer systems are facilities for the visualisation of magnetic domains and magnetization processes as well as for optically recording magnetization curves on all kinds of magnetic materials, including bulk specimens like sheets or ribbons, magnetic films and multilayers, patterned films or micro- and nanowires. They are semi-automatic, contact-less, non-destructive measuring systems using the magneto-optical Kerr effect (MOKE) as contrast mechanism.

Two microscope systems, both based on Carl Zeiss optics, are offered:
(i) Standard Microscope, and
(ii) Combined High-Resolution & Overview Microscope.

The Standard Microscope is a mechanically stable facility with high-quality optics, suitable for high-resolution domain imaging with spot sizes between approx. 100 µm and 5 mm and down to the resolution limit of optical microscopy (300 nm).

The Combined System is a more flexile setup that combines two microscope versions:
(i) a low-resolution version that allows to obtain an overview of the domain pattern of larger samples with a variable spot size ranging from approx. 30 x 30 mm to 8 x 8 mm
(ii) a high-resolution optical microscope that allows for the same spot size- and resolution ranges as the Standard Microscope.
Both versions are implemented in the same setup and can be used optionally.

For all microscope systems, image processing capabilities are provided for contrast enhancement. Magnetic in-plane fields of arbitrary direction can be applied. Optionally, also out-of-plane magnets are available. Magnetization loops on selected spots of the sample surface can be optically measured (MOKE-magnetometry), observing and recording the corresponding domain images at the same time. The microscopes can readily be extended to high- and low temperature observations. Also, quantitative Kerr microscopy and stroboscopic (time-resolved) microscopy can be implemented.

The microscope systems have been developed by Prof. Dr. Rudolf Schäfer and Prof. Dr. Jeffrey McCord, who have long-lasting experience in the field. Prof. Dr. Schäfer is coauthor of Springer monography Magnetic Domains: The Analysis of Magnetic Microstructure.

Also, the philosophy of evico magnetics is unique: we offer Kerr microscopy, and not just the microscope system. We are glad to collaborate with our customers on a scientific basis, delivering ongoing help on domain interpretation and advice on optimizing the magneto-optical experiments.

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