Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

300 kilometres per second to new electronics

22.06.2015

A material with superfast electrons that exhibits extremely large magnetoresistance may be suitable for use in electronic components

It may be significantly easier to design electronic components in future. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids have discovered that the electrical resistance of a compound of niobium and phosphorus increases enormously when the material is exposed to a magnetic field.


High resistance thanks to fast electrons: The charge carriers (blue: electrons, red: holes) of a semiconductor are defected from their original direction of flow (green arrow) by a magnetic field (black arrows). The faster the electrons are moving, the more strongly they are deflected from the original direction of flow and the greater is the electric resistance. This effect is especially large in niobium phosphide, as the material possesses especially fast electrons.

© Yulin Chen

This extremely large magnetoresistance, which is responsible for the large storage capacity of modern hard discs, was previously known to occur in some complex materials. Niobium phosphide or a material with similar properties which can be manufactured more easily could offer an alternative.

The Max Planck researchers, together with colleagues from the High-Field Magnet Laboratory of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf and Radboud University in the Netherlands, published the new findings on niobium phosphide in the journal Nature Physics.

Electronic systems are expected to process and store a steadily increasing amount of data, faster and faster, and in less space. Luckily, physicists discover effects that help engineers to develop better electronic components with surprising regularity, for instance a phenomenon known as extremely large magnetoresistance. Modern hard discs utilize this phenomenon to significantly alter the resistance of a material by exposing it to a magnetic field. Until now, the computer industry has used various materials stacked on top of each other in a filigree structure to achieve this effect. Now, Max Planck scientists in Dresden have observed a rapid increase in resistance by a factor of 10,000 in a non-complex material, namely niobium phosphide (NbP).

The resistance of niobium phosphide changes so dramatically in a magnetic field, because the charge carriers are deflected by a phenomenon known as the Lorentz force. This force causes an increasing percentage of electrons to start flowing in the “wrong” direction as the magnetic field is ramped up, thus increasing the electric resistance. Consequently, this property is known as magnetoresistance.

Superfast electrons cause extremely large magnetoresistance

“The faster the electrons in the material move, the greater the Lorentz force and thus the effect of a magnetic field,” explains Binghai Yan, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids in Dresden. He and his colleagues therefore came up with the idea of investigating a compound consisting of the transition metal niobium (Nb) and phosphorus. This material contains superfast charge carriers, known as relativistic electrons that move at around one thousandth the speed of light, or 300 kilometres per second.

For their investigations, the scientists used the High-Field Magnet Laboratory in Dresden, as well as the High-Field Magnet Laboratory at Radboud University in Nijmegen and the Diamond Light Source in Oxfordshire, England. In the process, they discovered why the electrons are so fast and mobile. The material owes its exotic properties to unusual electronic states in niobium phosphide. Some electrons in this material, known as a Weyl metal, act as if they have no mass. As a result, they are able to move very rapidly. Binhai Yan is convinced that “the effect that we’ve discovered in niobium phosphide could certainly be improved upon by means of skilled material design. This material class therefore has enormous potential for future applications in information technology.”


Contact
Prof. Dr. Claudia Felser
Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, Dresden
Phone: +49 351 4646-3001

Fax: +49 351 4646-3002

Email: Claudia.Felser@cpfs.mpg.de

 
Dr. Binghai Yan
Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, Dresden
Phone: +49 351 4646-2237

Email: yan@cpfs.mpg.de


Original publication
Dr Binghai Yan, et al.

Extremely large magnetoresistance and ultrahigh mobility in the topological Weyl semimetal candidate NbP

Nature Physics (2015), DOI:10.1038/nphys3372

Prof. Dr. Claudia Felser | Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, Dresden
Further information:
http://www.mpg.de/9283656/large-magnetoresistance-electronics

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Move over, Superman! NIST method sees through concrete to detect early-stage corrosion
27.04.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

nachricht Control of molecular motion by metal-plated 3-D printed plastic pieces
27.04.2017 | Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>