The Spatial Resolution Limit for an Individual Domain Wall in Magnetic Nanowires

Magnetic nanowires are the foundation of several promising nonvolatile computing devices, most notably magnetic racetrack memory and domain wall logic. Here, we determine the analog information capacity in these technologies, analyzing a magnetic nanowire containing a single domain wall. Although wires can be deliberately patterned with notches to define discrete positions for domain walls, the line edge roughness of the wire can also trap domain walls at dimensions below the resolution of the fabrication process, determining the fundamental resolution limit for the placement of a domain wall. Using a fractal model for the edge roughness, we show theoretically and experimentally that the analog information capacity for wires is limited by the self-affine statistics of the wire edge roughness, a relevant result for domain wall devices scaled to regimes where edge roughness dominates the energy landscape in which the walls move.