The 2007 physics Nobel Prize awarded achievements in the field of magnetism. When they started their fundamental research, the laureates Albert Fert and Peter Grünberg did certainly not foresee in how little time their results would be used for everyday applications in computer hard disks’ drives.
Dr. Karsten Küpper and Dr. Jürgen Fassbender from the Forschungszentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (FZD) tackle similar fundamental questions concerning the physics of magnetism whose potential applications are unpredictable today. More precisely, they study magnetic vortices, which are like magnetic swirls on the nanoscale (one nanometer is the billionth part of a meter). These magnetic cores, located in the center of the magnetic swirl, have a size of only about 10 nanometers and a very stable magnetization. Hence, experts consider them as potential candidates for future non volatile magnetic memories.
Today researchers study the basic physical phenomena of magnetic vortices, observed experimentally for the first time only a few years ago. A vortex can be described as a round, thin ferromagnetic disc with a diameter of only a few micrometers showing a circular magnetization, to some extent similar to the wind in a tornado. In the center of the disk a very small core of about 20 atoms only exhibits a perpendicular magnetization (like the eye of a tornado storm points towards the earth). Applying a magnetic field to a magnetic vortex pushes the vortex away from the center of the disk towards the frame. If one then turns the field off abruptly, the vortex moves either clockwise or counter clockwise on a spiral like trajectory back into its initial position in the center of the disk. This special movement is called gyration. In principal, the perpendicular magnetization of the vortex core can point either upwards or downwards, and four different kinds of movement can be found: right- and left rotating magnetic swirls, combined either with an up- or downward directed perpendicular core magnetization.
Analogous to any other physical particle or particle like property one can find an anti-particle, i.e. an antivortex in the present case. The physicists of the FZD could now tackle the dynamic magnetic properties of two vortices and an antivortex, i.e. the movement of the three cores in response to a short magnetic field pulse. Usually a vortex and an antivortex annihilate immediately under emission of energy. However, two vortices located around an antivortex can built up a pretty stable micromagnetic unit, a so called single cross-tie wall. The experiments concerning the magnetization dynamics and the subsequent core movements were performed at the Swiss Light Source of the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland. Fundamental questions were the driving force for these investigations: How do the two vortices and the antivortex influence the dynamic properties of the overall structure and the movement of the cores themselves? Do antivortex and vortices attract or repel each other in this specific arrangement? Are the subsequent spiral motions of the cores amplified or damped? Are other components of the overall cross-tie like the domain walls important for the overall dynamics?
Dr. Jürgen Fassbender sums up the outcome: “We could study some intriguing effects, in particular the gyrating movement of an antivortex has not been investigated experimentally so far. Due to comparison with complementary simulations we now understand details of the dynamic interaction between the three cores. Furthermore we could unravel the orientation of the three cores via analyzing their movements, although the lateral resolution of the used microscope is not high enough to extract the core orientation directly.”
What’s next? Dr. Jürgen Fassbender’s nanomagnetism team is now ready for its new challenge: to create a single antivortex and to experimentally investigate the magnetization dynamics of it for the first time. All this will certainly help in understanding the magnetization dynamics of even more complex micromagnetic structures, which might lay the basis for unforseen technological advances in the future.
Christine Bohnet | alfa
Time-resolved measurement in a memory device
19.02.2020 | ETH Zurich
Studying electrons, bridging two realms of physics: connecting solids and soft matter
18.02.2020 | Tokyo University of Science
The operational speed of semiconductors in various electronic and optoelectronic devices is limited to several gigahertz (a billion oscillations per second). This constrains the upper limit of the operational speed of computing. Now researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg, Germany, and the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay have explained how these processes can be sped up through the use of light waves and defected solid materials.
Light waves perform several hundred trillion oscillations per second. Hence, it is natural to envision employing light oscillations to drive the electronic...
Most natural and artificial surfaces are rough: metals and even glasses that appear smooth to the naked eye can look like jagged mountain ranges under the microscope. There is currently no uniform theory about the origin of this roughness despite it being observed on all scales, from the atomic to the tectonic. Scientists suspect that the rough surface is formed by irreversible plastic deformation that occurs in many processes of mechanical machining of components such as milling.
Prof. Dr. Lars Pastewka from the Simulation group at the Department of Microsystems Engineering at the University of Freiburg and his team have simulated such...
Investigation of the temperature dependence of the skyrmion Hall effect reveals further insights into possible new data storage devices
The joint research project of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that had previously demonstrated...
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, recently completed a 5-year research project looking at how to make fibre optic communications systems more energy efficient. Among their proposals are smart, error-correcting data chip circuits, which they refined to be 10 times less energy consumptive. The project has yielded several scientific articles, in publications including Nature Communications.
Streaming films and music, scrolling through social media, and using cloud-based storage services are everyday activities now.
After helping develop a new approach for organic synthesis -- carbon-hydrogen functionalization -- scientists at Emory University are now showing how this approach may apply to drug discovery. Nature Catalysis published their most recent work -- a streamlined process for making a three-dimensional scaffold of keen interest to the pharmaceutical industry.
"Our tools open up whole new chemical space for potential drug targets," says Huw Davies, Emory professor of organic chemistry and senior author of the paper.
12.02.2020 | Event News
16.01.2020 | Event News
15.01.2020 | Event News
19.02.2020 | Life Sciences
19.02.2020 | Information Technology
19.02.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering