Low temperature scanned probe microscopy studies of magnetic oxides
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This dissertation is divided into two parts. In the first, the general paradigm of scanned probe microscopy is outlined with a focus on atomic force microscopy and a few of its variations. Magnetic force microscopy is covered in detail as it forms the basis of the second part of this dissertation. The core elements and extra features of the instrument are described with attention paid to the upgrades made by the author. In the second part of this dissertation, background information on perovskite oxides and the inverse spinel system, magnetite, is given. Magnetic force microscopy studies were done on three thin film systems and are detailed. In the first study, ferromagnetic manganite films were subjected to discontinuous changes in strain due to structural transitions in their barium titanate substrates. The resulting effect on the magnetic domains was observed. In the second study, the ferromagnetism of a tensile-strained LaCoO₃ film was studied across temperatures from 4.3 K to 90 K and applied fields up to [mu]₀H=1.1 T. Finally, the properties of antiphase domains in magnetite films of varying film strain due to transition metal buffer layers was probed by imaging the magnetic domains which are pinned to the antiphase boundaries.