Muon spin rotation and relaxation experiments on thin films

E Morenzoni, Edward Forgan, H Gluckler, Timothy Jackson, H Luetkens, C Niedermayer, T Prokscha, Tanya Riseman, M Birke, A Hofer, J Litterst, M Pleines, G Schatz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


The recent development at the Paul Scherrer Institute of a beam of low energy muons allows depth dependent muon spin rotation and relaxation investigations in thin samples, multilayers and near surface regions (low energy mu SR, LE-mu SR). After a brief overview of the LE-mu SR method, some representative experiments performed with this technique will be presented. The first direct determination of the field profile just below the surface of a high-temperature superconductor in the Meissner phase illustrates the power and sensitivity of low energy muons as near-surface probe and is an example of general application to depth profiling of magnetic fields. The evolution of the flux line lattice distribution across the surface of a YBa2Cu3O7 film in the vortex phase has been investigated by implanting muons on both sides of a normal-superconducting boundary. A determination of the relaxation time and energy barrier to thermal activation in iron nanoclusters, embedded in a silver thin film matrix (500 nm), demonstrates the use of slow muons to measure the properties of samples that cannot be made thick enough for the use of conventional mu SR. Other experiments investigated the magnetic properties of thin Cr(001) layers at thicknesses above and below the collapse of the spin density wave.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-195
Number of pages17
JournalHyperfine Interactions
Issue number1/4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001


  • LE-mu SR method
  • muon spin rotation
  • muon spin relaxation


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