Now a team of physicists at the University of California, Davis, has developed a technique to capture the magnetic "fingerprints" of certain nanostructures – even when they are buried within the boards and junctions of an electronic device. This breakthrough in nanomagnetism was published in the Jan. 19 issue of Applied Physics Letters.
The past decade has witnessed a thousand-fold increase in magnetic recording area density, which has revolutionized the way information is stored and retrieved. These advances are based on the development of nanomagnet arrays which take advantage of the new field of spintronics: using electron spin as well as charge for information storage, transmission and manipulation.But due to the miniscule physical dimensions of nanomagnets – some are as small as 50 atoms wide – observing their magnetic configurations has been a challenge, especially when they are not exposed but built into a functioning device.
To tackle this challenge, Liu and three of his students, Jared Wong, Peter Greene and Randy Dumas, created copper nanowires embedded with magnetic cobalt nanodisks. Then they applied a series of magnetic fields to the wires and measured the responses from the nanodisks. By starting each cycle at full saturation – that is, using a field strong enough to align all the nanomagnets – then applying a progressively more negative field with each reversal, they created a series of information-rich graphic patterns known to physicists as "first-order reversal curve (FORC) distributions."
"Each pattern tells us a different story about what's going on inside the nanomagnets," Liu said. "We can see how they switch from one alignment to another, and get quantitative information about how many nanomagents are in one particular phase: for example, whether the magnetic moments are all pointing in the same direction or curling around a disk to form vortices. This in turn tells us how to encode information with these nanomagnets."
The technique will be applicable to a wide variety of physical systems that exhibit the kind of lag in response time (or hysteresis) as magnets, including ferroelectric, elastic and superconducting materials, Liu explained. "It's a powerful tool for probing variations, or heterogeneity, in the system, and real materials always have a certain amount of this."
Liese Greensfelder | EurekAlert!
Move over, lasers: Scientists can now create holograms from neutrons, too
21.10.2016 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Finding the lightest superdeformed triaxial atomic nucleus
20.10.2016 | The Henryk Niewodniczanski Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences
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...
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...
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...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences