Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Making magnets flip like cats at room temperature


Heusler alloy NiMnSb could prove valuable as a new material for digital information processing and storage

In today’s world of ever-increasing digital information storage and computation, the next information storage revolution seeks to exploit a novel effect arising from the relativistic physics of Einstein which allows to make a new type of magnet behave like cats.

Flipping NiMnSb magnet

ill.:/©: Inspire Group, JGU

Similar to the ability of a cat to flip itself in the air by twisting different parts of its body in different directions and land on its feet, these magnets can flip themselves through the internal motion of their own electrons.

"In these new magnetic materials, a current running through the magnet can turn around the direction of the magnetization depending on the direction of the current," explained Professor Jairo Sinova of the Institute of Physics at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU).

"This novel phenomenon in physics, dubbed spin-orbit torques, links the spin-degree of freedom of magnets which gives rise to the magnetization to the charge degree of freedom that allows for current-charge motion inside the material.

This novel effect has been pioneered, among others, by recent predictions by the Sinova group in Mainz together with theoretical and experimental collaborators. It occurs in magnetic materials that have broken-inversion symmetry.

The researchers first observed spin-orbit torques in the artificial bulk diluted magnetic semiconductor GaMnAs. GaMnAs is the diluted counterpart of crystalline zincblende structures of Silicon and Gallium arsenide, which are the pillars of modern electronics. However, in GaMnAs, spin-orbit torques were demonstrated only at very low temperatures.

In collaboration with an international team of researchers from Prague, Cambridge, Würzburg, Jülich, and Nottingham, Professor Jairo Sinova and his Ph.D. students Jacob Gayles and Libor Šmejkal now have published their findings, which could pave the way for using spin-orbit torques in technological applications.

Thanks to the synergetic teamwork of theorists and experimentalists, the researchers were able to predict and demonstrate the effect of spin-orbit torques in NiMnSb crystal at room temperature. NiMnSb was chosen according to the systematic analysis of the symmetry the crystal point groups in conjunction with microscopic first principles calculations of the effect.

All electrical ferromagnetic resonance measurements were then used to detect the room-temperature spin-orbit torques in NiMnSb microbars. Being able to use single magnet manipulation at room temperature represents an important step towards improved magnetic random access memory architectures for technical applications that are all fully electrical, highly scalable, and require low power.

C. Ciccarelli, L. Anderson et al.
Room-temperature spin-orbit torque in NiMnSb
Nature Physics, 16 May 2016
DOI: 10.1038/nphys3772

Flipping NiMnSb magnet
ill.:/©: Inspire Group, JGU

Further information:
Professor Dr. Jairo Sinova
Spintronics and Nanoelectronics Theory Group
Institute of Physics
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
55099 Mainz, GERMANY
phone +49 6131 39-23646
fax +49 6131 39-23474

Weitere Informationen: - Publication ; – press release "Jairo Sinova receives ERC funding to develop new spintronic concepts" (22 January 2014)

Petra Giegerich | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Solid progress in carbon capture
27.10.2016 | King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST)

nachricht Greater Range and Longer Lifetime
26.10.2016 | Technologie Lizenz-Büro (TLB) der Baden-Württembergischen Hochschulen GmbH

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years

27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA

27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>