EMCD (Energy-Loss Magnetic Chiral Dichroism) is an emerging technique based on energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS) in a transmission electron microscopy (TEM). It aims at measuring the element-specific local magnetic moment of solids at a nanometer scale, and hence improving our understanding of magnetic local magnetic phenomena. This thesis presents the exploring work on developing the EMCD technique and its applications.
We have applied EMCD to epitaxial MnAs thin films grown on a GaAs(001) substrate, extending the application of this technique to hexagonal structure with high magnetocrystalline anisotropy. The 3d orbital-to-spin moment ratio of Mn in hexagonal ferromagnetic MnAs along easy, hard and intermediate magnetic axes has been respectively estimated and then compared to DFT calculations. Moreover, a breaking of the ferromagnetic order in MnAs thin film, together with the crystallographic transition from hexagonal α-MnAs to quasi-hexagonal β-MnAs, has been locally studied in-situ by modifying the temperature of the crystal inside the electron microscope.