Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Making better memories

30.01.2012
Demonstration of a rare combination of electric and magnetic properties in a now readily producible material could improve electronic memory devices

An electric field can displace the cloud of electrons surrounding each atom of a solid. In an effect known as polarization, the cloud centers move away slightly from the positively charged nuclei, which radically changes the optical properties of the solid. Materials that can maintain this polarization, even when the external electric field is removed, are known as ferroelectrics and they could provide a novel route to higher-density memory devices.


Figure 1: Strontium barium manganite’s properties come from its manganese atoms (purple sphere). Spin (black arrow) endows the material with its magnetic properties, while the displacement of the ion from the center of the cubic lattice (purple arrow) makes it ferroelectric. Oxygen atoms are shown as red spheres and strontium or barium atoms are green. Copyright : 2012 Yasujiro Taguchi

“The function of ferroelectric materials is much expanded if they are also magnetic, and if there is a strong coupling between polarization and magnetization,” explains Yasujiro Taguchi from the RIKEN Advanced Science Institute in Wako. Taguchi and his colleagues from RIKEN, and several other Japanese research institutes, recently demonstrated experimentally that the material strontium barium manganite ((Sr,Ba)MnO3) has this rare combination of properties1.

Previous experimental studies on (Sr,Ba)MnO3 did not identify any signs of the ferroelectricity promised by theoretical simulations. The problem was an insufficient ratio of barium to strontium atoms: conventional crystal growth techniques had produced material with only a maximum ratio of 1:4. Taguchi and his colleagues therefore developed a new two-stage growth technique that enabled them to increase the barium content to 50%. By comparing the properties of crystals with different levels of barium content, they identified a transition to a ferroelectric state at a content ratio of between 40 and 45%.

Strontium barium manganite has a so-called perovskite crystal arrangement, which is characterized by a repeating cubic structure (Fig. 1). Manganese atoms are located at the center of the crystal and oxygen atoms are situated in the middle of each of the six sides. Either a strontium or a barium atom sits on each corner of the cube. The spin, or rotation, of an electron in the manganese ions makes the crystal magnetic. Ferroelectricity arises because the manganese ions are displaced slightly from the center of the cube. “Therefore the manganese ions are responsible for both polarization and magnetism and thus a strong coupling between the two emerges,” explains Taguchi.

Materials that are both ferroelectric and have magnetic properties are called multiferroics. The multiferroic materials identified so far have either strong coupling between electricity and magnetism but small polarization, or large polarization with weak coupling. “We have now discovered a multiferroic material that has both [strong coupling and large polarization],” says Taguchi. “These properties are necessary requirements if multiferroic materials are to be applied to devices. One possible example is low-power-consumption memory devices.”

The corresponding author for this highlight is based at the Exploratory Materials Team, RIKEN Advanced Science Institute

gro-pr | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.riken.jp
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht From foam to bone: Plant cellulose can pave the way for healthy bone implants
19.03.2019 | University of British Columbia

nachricht Additive printing processes for flexible touchscreens: increased materials and cost efficiency
19.03.2019 | INM - Leibniz-Institut für Neue Materialien gGmbH

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: The taming of the light screw

DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.

The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...

Im Focus: Magnetic micro-boats

Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.

The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...

Im Focus: Self-healing coating made of corn starch makes small scratches disappear through heat

Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.

Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...

Im Focus: Stellar cartography

The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.

A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...

Im Focus: Heading towards a tsunami of light

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Modelica Conference with 330 visitors from 21 countries at OTH Regensburg

11.03.2019 | Event News

Selection Completed: 580 Young Scientists from 88 Countries at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

01.03.2019 | Event News

LightMAT 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Light Materials – Science and Technology

28.02.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Laser processing is a matter for the head – LZH at the Hannover Messe 2019

25.03.2019 | Trade Fair News

A Varied Menu

25.03.2019 | Life Sciences

‘Time Machine’ heralds new era

25.03.2019 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>