Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Magnetic monopoles erase data

03.06.2013
Efficient and long-lived storage of information in magnetic vortices

A physical particle postulated 80 years ago, could provide a decisive step toward the realization of novel, highly efficient data storage devices. Scientists at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM), the Technische Universitaet Dresden and the University of Cologne found that with magnetic monopoles in magnetic vortices, called skyrmions, information can be written and erased.


Depiction of the merging of two magnetic vortices, so-called skyrmions, in the magnetic structure of a material. The point at the which the vortices merge displays the properties of an emergent magnetic monopole. When the monopole moves along the direction of the vortices a skyrmion is created or destroyed (Picture: Ch. Schütte/University of Cologne)


A grid of magnetic vortex structures
(Picture: TUM)

Iron filings strewn on a sheet of paper trace the field lines of a bar magnet below the paper, thereby showing the magnet's north and south poles. No matter how often it is split, the bar magnet always forms a north and a south pole. However, in the early 1930s physicist Paul A. M. Dirac postulated a particle that should, as the magnetic counterpart of the electron, possess only one of the two poles, and should carry just one magnetic elementary charge.

Looking for a simple way to study the magnetic vortices, researchers associated with TUM physicist Prof. Christian Pfleiderer collaborated with Prof. Lukas Eng's group at the Technische Universitaet Dresden, which has a magnetic force microscope. When they scanned the surface of the materials with this microscope, they not only observed the vortices for the first time, but also found that neighboring skyrmions merge with one another.

Computer simulations of Prof. Achim Rosch's group at Cologne, together with experiments at the research neutron source FRM II at TUM, showed that magnetic monopoles were at work here, drawing the vortices together like a zipper.

Compact and long-lived data storage

An important future application of the magnetic eddies could be extremely compact and long-lived storage media. Whereas one needs around a million atoms to store one bit in a modern hard disk, the smallest known skyrmions in magnetic materials consist of only 15 atoms.

At the same time moving such skyrmions requires 100,000 times less power than moving memory bits in devices based on conventional magnetic materials, in order to process information such a precisely controlled manner. Perhaps the most interesting characteristic of skyrmions, however, is that they are especially stable, like a knot in a string.
The magnetic vortex structures were discovered in 2009 through neutron scattering experiments on manganese-silicon in the research neutron source FRM II, conducted by a team around Christian Pfleiderer and Achim Rosch. Since then this area of research has attracted intense interest and made rapid progress worldwide. "Whereas initially the experiments required extremely low temperatures, today we also know materials in which skyrmions exist at room temperature," says Christian Pfleiderer, Professor for Magnetic Materials at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen.

"With the magnetic force microscopy, we finally have a method at hand that allows us for the first time to observe skyrmions in systems that are relevant for applications. This is a decisive step in the direction of a real technical use."

The work was funded by the European Research Council, the German Research Foundation, (DFG), and the Australian Research Council, as well as the TUM Graduate School and the Bonn-Cologne Graduate School.

Publication:
Unwinding of a Skyrmion Lattice by Magnetic Monopoles, 
P. Milde, D. Köhler, J. Seidel, L. M. Eng, A. Bauer, A. Chacon, J. Kindervater, S. Mühlbauer, C. Pfleiderer, S. Buhrandt, C. Schütte, A. Rosch, 
Science, Advanced online publication, 31 May 2013, DOI: after end of embargo
Contact:
Prof. Dr. Christian Pfleiderer
Technische Universität München

Physik-Department


T: +49.89.289-14720

E: christian.pfleiderer@frm2.tum.de

Patrick Regan | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.e21.ph.tum.de

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht From rocks in Colorado, evidence of a 'chaotic solar system'
23.02.2017 | University of Wisconsin-Madison

nachricht Prediction: More gas-giants will be found orbiting Sun-like stars
22.02.2017 | Carnegie Institution for Science

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: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>