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Journal of Nanotechnology
Volume 2011, Article ID 952846, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/952846
Research Article

Magnetic Anisotropy at Nanoscale

Institute of Physics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Al. Lotników 32/46, 02-668 Warszawa, Poland

Received 31 March 2011; Revised 10 May 2011; Accepted 1 June 2011

Academic Editor: A. M. Rao

Copyright © 2011 Marek W. Gutowski. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Nanoscale objects often behave differently than their “normal-sized” counterparts. Sometimes it is enough to be small in just one direction to exhibit unusual features. One example of such a phenomenon is a very specific in-plane magnetic anisotropy observed sometimes in very thin layers of various materials. Here we recall a peculiar form of the free energy functional nicely describing the experimental findings but completely irrelevant and thus never observed in larger objects.