Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Measurements from the edge: magnetic properties of thin films

01.10.2007
Materials researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), together with colleagues from IBM and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, have pushed the measurement of thin films to the edge—literally—to produce the first data on how the edges of metallic thin films contribute to their magnetic properties. Their results may impact the design of future nanoscale electronics.

Ferromagnetic thin films of metallic materials—ranging in thickness from fractions of a nanometer to several micrometers—are layered in patterns on a substrate (such as silicon) during the manufacture of many microelectronic devices that use magnetic properties, such as computer hard drives.


Spectroscopic image showing the microwave-frequency magnetic resonances of an array of parallel, metallic thin film nanowires ('stripes'). The peak in the center is due to resonances occurring at the stripe edges while the strong horizontal bar is due to resonances in the body of the stripes. Credit: Brian Maranville

While methods for measuring the magnetic properties of ferromagnetic thin films have existed for some time, there currently is no way to define those properties for the edges of the film. On a relatively large-scale device, this doesn’t matter much. However, as microelectronic components get smaller and smaller, the edge becomes a bigger and bigger fraction of the surface, eventually becoming the thin film’s dominant surface and the driver of its magnetic character. (Shrink a disk by half and the top surface area is reduced by a factor of four while the length of the edge is only halved.)

A research team from NIST, IBM and MIT recently demonstrated a spectroscopic technique for measuring the magnetic properties of the edges of nickel-iron alloy thin films patterned in an array of parallel nanowires (called “stripes”) atop a silicon disk. The researchers beamed microwaves of different frequencies over the stripes and measured the magnetic resonances that resulted. Because a thin film’s edge resonates differently from its center, the researchers were able to determine which data—and subsequently, which magnetic behaviors—were attributable to the edge.

In its first trials, the new technique has been used to measure how the magnetic properties of the thin film edge are affected by the thickness of the film and the processing conditions during the stripe patterning. Data gained from the study of stripes with widths of 250 to 1,000 nanometers will be used to predict the behavior of similar structures at the nanoscale level (100 nanometers or less).

Michael E. Newman | EurekAlert!

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Comet or asteroid? Hubble discovers that a unique object is a binary
21.09.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht First users at European XFEL
21.09.2017 | European XFEL GmbH

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: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Comet or asteroid? Hubble discovers that a unique object is a binary

21.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Cnidarians remotely control bacteria

21.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Monitoring the heart's mitochondria to predict cardiac arrest?

21.09.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>