Characterization of hysteresis in magnetic systems, a Preisach approach

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Mitchler, Patricia Darlene
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The phenomenon of hysteresis is perhaps the most widely recognized microscopic manifestation of magnetic ordering, and is the principal feature which is responsible for technologically-oriented applications of magnetic materials such as permanent magnets and recording media. Interest in a phenomenological model of hysteresis originally proposed by Preisach in 1935 has been renewed recently, particularly in engineering applications, such as the characterization of magnetic recording media and magnetostrictive materials. Thus, a rigorous assessment of the capabilities and limitations of the Preisach model for characterizing magnetic materials is of considerable importance from both fundamental and technological perspectives. The fundamental characteristics of hysteresis are discussed and a theoretical background for the processes involved in magnetic systems is established. A generalized version of the scalar Preisach model, which includes original contributions, is developed to extend the model's abilities to describe the effects of the structure of the initially demagnetized state, the presence and nature of interactions, the system's coercive field distribution, and especially, the effects of temperature and experimental wart time, on the observed hysteretic properties of a variety of magnetic systems including spin glasses, ferromagnets, ferrimagnets, and superparamagnets. The moment and remanence of magnetic systems are measured as a function of applied field and temperature, using both a vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM) and a SQUID-based magnetometer. A Preisach analysis of the data is used to characterize the irreversible response of six magnetic systems: CrO 2 audio tape; magnetoferritin; a Nd2Fe14B permanent magnet; a floppy disk medium; and longitudinal and perpendicular cobalt-chromium-based hard disk materials. The ambiguous nature of tools presently used to analyze the nature of magnetic systems, such as the application of Henkel plots to the analysis of interaction effects, is demonstrated and alternative Preisach-based analysis schemes are presented. The physical significance of parameters, which emerged from the Preisach calculations, is discussed in detail and modifications are proposed to model this array of real magnetic systems. These changes to the scalar Preisach model extend its capabilities, while maintaining the inherent simplicity of a scalar model. Limitations of the model are also discussed critically, and suggestions for future generalizations are made.