Spin-polarized low-energy electron microscopy (SPLEEM) is a technique for
imaging magnetic microstructures at surfaces and in thin films. In this
article, principles, advantages and limitations of SPLEEM are reviewed.
Several recent studies illustrate how SPLEEM can be used to investigate spin
reorientation transition phenomena, to determine magnetic domain
configurations in low-dimensional structures, or to explore physics of
magnetic couplings in layered systems. The work highlights the capability of
the technique to reveal in situ and in real time quantitative information on
micromagnetic configurations and structure-property relationships. In
addition, spectroscopic reflectivity measurements with spin-polarized
low-energy electron beams can be a useful tool to probe spin-dependent
unoccupied band structure of magnetic materials and electronic properties of
buried magnetic interfaces.