Microstructure and Domain Imaging of Magnetic Materials
Microstructural analysis of specialized types of magnetic materials is centered on the examination of optical, electron, and scanning probe metallographic techniques unique to magnetic materials. This article provides a comprehensive overview of magnetic materials, their characteristics and sample preparation procedures. It reviews the methods pertaining to the microstructural examination of bulk magnetic materials, including microscopy techniques specified to magnetic materials characterization, with specific examples. The techniques used in the study of magnetic domain structures (microstructure) include the magneto-optical Kerr method, the Faraday method, the Bitter technique, scanning electron microscopy (magnetic contrast Types I and II), scanning electron microscopy with polarization analysis, Lorentz transmission electron microscopy, and magnetic force microscopy. The article also illustrates the microstructure of different types of soft magnetic material and permanent magnets.