Magnetic sensors are made of thin layers with different magnetic properties. With the help of ion technology, scientists from Dresden were now able to shrink these multilayer systems down to one layer, retaining their magnetic properties. This discovery could make magnetic sensors even more powerful. The results have recently been published in the journal „Advanced Materials“.
Progressive miniaturization is an important driving force for technological progress. Nowadays, magnetic multilayer systems for magnetic sensors are comprised of individual films, which are often only a few atomic layers thick. Scientists from the Leibniz Institute of Solid State and Materials Research (IFW) Dresden and from the Forschungszentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (FZD) picked up the well-known fact that it is not sufficient to reduce the thickness of the individual layers to miniaturize these systems. Instead of using multilayer systems a promising alternative is to combine the magnetic properties of the different layer materials within a single film. This goal has now been achieved by scientists from Dresden who produced an ultra-thin striped layer.
Traditional multilayer systems are made up of single layers consisting of hard magnetic and soft magnetic materials. Hard magnetic materials exhibit a stable magnetic configuration whereas the magnetization direction of soft magnetic materials can be easily controlled and thus reversed by applying a magnetic field. This effect is for instance used when magnetically stored data are read out by the read heads of hard disks. Read heads are in a way comparable to magnetic sensors like in cars or in other everyday applications, e. g. rotation controllers in hi-fi systems. Ultra-thin magnetic layer systems go back to the discovery of the giant magneto resistance effect (GMR) in ultra-thin magnetic films, for which Peter Grünberg and Albert Fert were awarded the Nobel prize last year.
In order to further miniaturize magnetic devices, intelligent combination of both hard magnetic and soft magnetic properties is essential. Researchers from FZD and IFW Dresden could now demonstrate for the first time that both material properties can be generated in a single film – in contrast to multilayer structures – by means of ion implantation on a micrometer scale. When observed from the top, the new structure shows a stripe pattern. The scientists found out that even in a single magnetic film the borders between both materials – also called domain walls – influence the magnetization reversal behavior. This discovery might enable more powerful magnetic sensors.
The new technology also opens up a route to imaging the domain walls by means of optical microscopy (Fig. 1, 2). In addition, the magnetization reversal behavior can be investigated as a whole (Fig. 3) and correlated to the magnetic domain configuration. In the near future, the scientists want to approach the nanometer regime in order to investigate the emerging physical effects at the largest level of miniaturization. Dr. Jürgen Fassbender, physicist at the FZD, explains: “We expect that at a certain feature size completely new effects arise.”
Christine Bohnet | alfa
Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions
27.04.2017 | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory
SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history
26.04.2017 | Southwest Research Institute
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
27.04.2017 | Life Sciences
27.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences