Néel and cross-tie wall energies for planar micromagnetic configurations

François Alouges, Tristan Rivière, Sylvia Serfaty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study a two-dimensional model for micromagnetics, which consists in an energy functional over S 2-valued vector fields. Bounded-energy configurations tend to be planar, except in small regions which can be described as vortices (Bloch lines in physics). As the characteristic "exchange-length" tends to 0, they converge to planar divergence-free unit norm vector fields which jump along line singularities. We derive lower bounds for the energy, which are explicit functions of the jumps of the limit. These lower bounds are proved to be optimal and are achieved by one-dimensional profiles, corresponding to Néel walls, if the jump is small enough (less than π/2 in angle), and by two-dimensional profiles, corresponding to cross-tie walls, if the jump is bigger. Thus, it provides an example of a vector-valued phase-transition type problem with an explicit non-one-dimensional energy-minimizing transition layer. We also establish other lower bounds and compactness properties on different quantities which provide a good notion of convergence and cost of vortices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-68
Number of pages38
JournalESAIM - Control, Optimisation and Calculus of Variations
StatePublished - Jun 2002


  • Cross-tie walls
  • Gamma-convergence
  • Micromagnetics
  • Thin films

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Control and Optimization
  • Computational Mathematics


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