We have constructed a low-cost Kerr microscope for use in our upper-division solid-state laboratory course by retrofitting a polarizing microscope. It was tested by imaging the magnetic domains on the surface of the polished ferromagnetic samples Nd-Fe-B and Fe-Si. The instrument serves as a learning platform for students who use it to study essential aspects of magnetic domains, as observed using the magneto-optic Kerr effect. By applying a controlled external magnetic field to a sample, magnetic domains can be observed and manipulated in real time with the aid of a digital camera. We offer technical guidance for the development of such a microscope and outline learning objectives for undergraduates in a formal lab curriculum.
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PAPERS| June 01 2014
Developing a Kerr microscope for upper-division solid-state physics laboratories
Adam R. Attig;
David Neff, Anatol Hoemke, Adam R. Attig, Hector Cordova Mireles; Developing a Kerr microscope for upper-division solid-state physics laboratories. Am. J. Phys. 1 June 2014; 82 (6): 574–582. https://doi.org/10.1119/1.4863916
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