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We present a simple method to control the direction of the circulation of the magnetization in mesoscopic ring magnets, using a uniform magnetic field only. The method is based on the nucleation free switching which occurs when the rings switch from the near-saturated state, referred to as the "onion state," to the flux-closed vortex state. Two possible onion states, forward or reverse magnetized, are possible for a given direction of the magnetic field. Going from the forward or the backward onion state, both local scanning Kerr microscopy measurements and micromagnetic simulations show that the clockwise or the counterclockwise vortex state, respectively, can be selected due to asymmetric pinning of the two domain walls that are present in the onion state. © 2001 American Institute of Physics.

Original publication




Journal article


Applied Physics Letters

Publication Date





3268 - 3270