We present a detailed analysis of the in-plane magnetic vector configuration in head-to-head/tail-to-tail stripe domain patterns of nominal 5 μm width. The patterns have been created by He-ion bombardment induced magnetic patterning of a CoFe/IrMn3
exchange bias thin-film system. Quantitative information about the chemical and magnetic structure is obtained from polarized neutron reflectometry (PNR) and off-specular scattering (OSS). The technique provides information on the magnetic vector orientation and magnitude along the lateral coordinate of the sample, as well as the chemical and magnetic layer structure as a function of depth. Additional sensitivity to magnetic features is obtained through a neutron wave field resonance, which is fully accounted for in the presented analysis. The scattering reveals a domain width imbalance of 5.3 to 3.7 μm of virgin and bombarded stripes, respectively. Further, we report that the magnetization in the bombarded stripe significantly deviates from the head-to-head arrangement. A domain wall of 0.6 μm with homogeneous magnetization direction is found to separate the two neighboring domains. The results contain detailed information on length scales and magnetization vectors provided by PNR and OSS in absolute units. We illustrate the complementarity of the technique to microscopy techniques for obtaining a quantitative description of imprinted magnetic domain patterns and illustrate its applicability to different sample systems.
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