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Roland Wiesendanger pioneered the technique of spin-resolved scanning tunnelling microscopy and spectroscopy which allowed the first real-space observation of magnetic structures at the atomic level. Examples have been atomic-scale observations of surface spin structures of ferrimagnets and antiferromagnets as well as the real-space imaging of atomically sharp domain walls in ultra-thin ferromagnetic films and magnetic vortex structures of mesoscopic ferromagnetic islands.
Furthermore, magnetic hysteresis has been observed for the first time on a single-digit nanometer scale and, more recently, even at the level of single magnetic atoms. Roland Wiesendanger also contributed significantly to the development of magnetic force microscopy and to the investigation of low-dimensional electron systems in semiconductors by low-temperature scanning tunnelling spectroscopy in high magnetic fields.
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