The polarization and diffraction characteristics of x-rays incident upon a magnetic material are manipulated to provide a desired magnetic sensitivity in the material. The contrast in diffracted intensity of opposite helicities of circularly polarized x-rays is measured to permit separation of magnetic signals by element type and by atomic environment. This allows for the direct probing of magnetic signals from elements of the same species in nonequivalent atomic environments to better understand the behavior and characteristics of permanent magnetic materials. By using known crystallographic information together with manipulation of the polarization of x-rays having energies tuned near element-specific electronic excitations and by detecting and comparing the incident and diffracted photons at the same frequency, more accurate magnetic measurements can be made over shorter observation periods.
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-31-109-ENG-38 between the U.S. Department of Energy and the University of Chicago.