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Scanning magnetic swirls.

Researchers have modified the scanning tunneling microscope to permit the imaging of individual magnetic vortices that penetrate the surfaces of high-temperature superconductors. Unlike other methods used to image magnetic fields on a microscopic scale, this particular technique doesn't alter or destroy the sample being studied. "You can look at the same sample again and again," says Hans D. Hallen of AT&T Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, N.J.

Moreover, the new magnetic probe microscope measures the strength of magnetic fields directly. Its specially patterned, gallium-arsenide probe, which is held about 0.1 micron above a surface as it scans back and forth, can detect magnetic features as small as 0.3 micron across. Hallen and his co-workers have already used the microscope to study how the depth to which a magnetic field penetrates a superconductor corresponds to the size of the vortices seen on its surface at various temperatures.
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Title Annotation:scanning tunneling microscopes
Author:Peterson, Ivars
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Mar 28, 1992
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