While searching for ever smaller devices that can be used as data storage systems and novel sensors, physicists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) have directly observed magnetization dynamics processes in magnetic nanowires and thus paved the way for further research in the field of nanomagnetism.
Image of a ferromagnetic ring prepared using a scanning electron microscope: The magnetization (black/white contrast) runs along the ring and forms two domain walls.
© André Bisig, Institute of Physics, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
Small magnetic domain wall structures in nanowires can be used to store information and, for example, can be used as angle sensors. Initial applications based on magnetic domain walls have been developed and are already in use in sensor technology. The current findings represent the first experimentally recorded direct imaging of predicted correlations between magnetic spin structure and wall velocity. The newly discovered properties could be used for other future applications in information technology.
Magnetic domains represent regions of uniform magnetization in ferromagnetic materials. Within each domain, the magnetization is aligned in a single direction. At the interface where domains of different magnetization direction meet, the magnetization has to rotate from one direction to another in a so-called domain wall. At Mainz University, the group of Professor Mathias Kläui is studying the properties of magnetic domains and the dynamics of domains and domain walls in tiny rings on the nanoscale. It is possible to directly observe the motion of domain walls in these rings that have a diameter of some 4 micrometers and are made of permalloy, a soft nickel-iron alloy. For this purpose, the Mainz physicists have been collaborating with scientists of the BESSY II synchrotron facility at the Helmholtz Center Berlin for Materials and Energy and the Advanced Light Source (ALS) at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, USA, as well as with the Technical University of Berlin and the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart.
The researchers discovered that the velocity of the motion of domain walls is always oscillating. "This is a new effect that could prove to be useful in the future," said Dr. André Bisig, lead author of the paper "Correlation between spin structure oscillations and domain wall velocities," which has recently been published in Nature Communications. It was also found that the applied method is very effective in reliably moving the domain walls at very high velocities. "The faster we move the domain wall, the easier it is to control it," said Bisig. Another observation concerns the effects associated with irregularities or defects in the nanowires. According to the results, these effects only become noticeable when domain walls are moving slowly. The faster a domain wall spins, the less relevant is the role played by defects in the material.
While theoretical research concerns itself principally with observing domain wall velocity and its correlation with oscillations in the spin structure, the results obtained also have important implications for applied research. Domain wall-based sensors are already being used by Sensitec GmbH, Mainz, a cooperating partner of JGU and the Technical University of Kaiserslautern in two projects funded by the state of Rhineland-Palatinate: the Spintronics Technology Platform in Rhineland-Palatinate (STeP) and the Technology Transfer Service Center for New Materials (TT-DINEMA). "Of particular importance is the fact that we observed unimpeded domain wall motion at high domain wall velocities. This represents highly promising potential for the use of these nanostructures in ultra-fast rotating sensors," added Professor Mathias Kläui. The research being undertaken by Professor Kläui's team is being funded by an ERC Starting Grant and the Graduate School of Excellence Materials Science in Mainz (MAINZ). In addition, cooperation with Sensitec has resulted in access to a joint EU project involving seven other leading partners expected to start in October 2013 on "Controlling domain wall dynamics for functional devices".Publication:
Petra Giegerich | idw
18.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
AI implications: Engineer's model lays groundwork for machine-learning device
18.08.2017 | Washington University in St. Louis
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
18.08.2017 | Life Sciences
18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences