Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A new perovskite could lead the next generation of data storage

24.11.2016

EPFL scientists have developed a new perovskite material with unique properties that can be used to build next-generation hard drives.

As we generate more and more data, we need storage systems, e.g. hard drives, with higher density and efficiency. But this also requires materials whose magnetic properties can be quickly and easily manipulated in order to write and access data on them. EPFL scientists have now developed a perovskite material whose magnetic order can be rapidly changed without disrupting it due to heating. The work, which describes the first ever magnetic photoconductor, is published in Nature Communications.


A typical CH3NH3(Mn:Pb)I3 crystal developed in this study.

Credit: László Forró/EPFL

The lab of Laszló Forró, in a project led by postdoc Bálint Náfrádi, synthesized a ferromagnetic photovoltaic material. Perovskite photovoltaics are gradually becoming a cheaper alternative to current silicon systems, drawing much interest from energy scientists. But this particular material, which is a modified version of perovskite, exhibits some unique properties that make it particularly interesting as a material to build next-generation digital storage systems.

Magnetism in material arises from the interactions of localized and moving electrons of the material; in a way, it is the result of competition between different movements of electrons. This means that the resulting magnetic state is wired in the material and it cannot be reversed without changing the structure of electrons in the material's chemistry or crystal structure. But an easy way to modify magnetic properties would be an enormous advantage in many applications such as magnetic data storage.

The new material that the EPFL scientists developed offers exactly that. "We have essentially discovered the first magnetic photoconductor," says Bálint Náfrádi. This new crystal structure combines the advantages of both ferromagnets, whose magnetic moments are aligned in a well-defined order, and photoconductors, where light illumination generates high density free conduction electrons.

The combination of the two properties produced an entirely new phenomenon: the "melting" of magnetization by photo-electrons, which are electrons that are emitted from a material when light hits it. In the new perovskite material, a simple red LED -- much weaker than a laser pointer -- is enough to disrupt, or "melt" the material's magnetic order and generate a high density of travelling electrons, which can be freely and continuously tuned by changing the light's intensity. The timescale for shifting the magnetic in this material is also very fast, virtually needing only quadrillionths of a second.

Though still experimental, all these properties mean that the new material can be used to build the next generation of memory-storage systems, featuring higher capacities with low energy demands. "This study provides the basis for the development of a new generation of magneto-optical data storage devices," says Náfrádi. "These would combine the advantages of magnetic storage -- long-term stability, high data density, non-volatile operation and re-writability-- with the speed of optical writing and reading."

###

This work included contributions from the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility and the University of Geneva. It was funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, the European Research Council (PICOPROP and TopoMat) and the NCCR-MARVEL.

Reference

B. Náfrádi, P. Szirmai, M. Spina, H. Lee, O. V. Yazyev, A. Arakcheeva, D. Chernyshov, M. Gibert, L. Forró, E. Horváth. Optically switched magnetism in photovoltaic perovskite CH3NH3(Mn:Pb)I3. Nature Communications 24 November 2016. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms13406 D

Media Contact

Nik Papageorgiou
n.papageorgiou@epfl.ch
41-216-932-105

 @EPFL_en

http://www.epfl.ch/index.en.html 

Nik Papageorgiou | EurekAlert!

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Black hole spin cranks-up radio volume
15.01.2018 | National Institutes of Natural Sciences

nachricht The universe up close
15.01.2018 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

Im Focus: Autoimmune Reaction Successfully Halted in Early Stage Islet Autoimmunity

Scientists at Helmholtz Zentrum München have discovered a mechanism that amplifies the autoimmune reaction in an early stage of pancreatic islet autoimmunity prior to the progression to clinical type 1 diabetes. If the researchers blocked the corresponding molecules, the immune system was significantly less active. The study was conducted under the auspices of the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD) and was published in the journal ‘Science Translational Medicine’.

Type 1 diabetes is the most common metabolic disease in childhood and adolescence. In this disease, the body's own immune system attacks and destroys the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fachtagung analytica conference 2018

15.01.2018 | Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Black hole spin cranks-up radio volume

15.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

A matter of mobility: multidisciplinary paper suggests new strategy for drug discovery

15.01.2018 | Life Sciences

New method to map miniature brain circuits

15.01.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>