Review of Scientific Instruments vol:74 issue:6 pages:3062-3066
We demonstrate how room temperature scanning Hall probe microscopy (SHPM) can be applied to noninvasively probe the (meta-)stable magnetic domain states of individual mesoscopic Co bars as a function of applied field. These data are correlated with magneto-optical measurements of the hysteresis loop as well as higher spatial resolution magnetic force microscopy imaging. In particular, we show how a combination of visualization techniques is essential for fully understanding the mechanism of magnetization reversal in such microstructures. Micromagnetic calculations of the magnetic states and their corresponding stray fields are correlated with the observations. These experiments prove the usefulness of a noninvasive and quantitative technique such as room temperature SHPM in an applied magnetic field to study magnetic domain stability and switching field distributions. (C) 2003 American Institute of Physics.