Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Magnetic flux quanta get a dance lesson

03.03.2008
Alternating electric current can be used to precisely control tiny vortices of magnetism

Swirling cyclones of magnetism at the sub-micron scale that can trouble superconducting devices have been tamed by RIKEN scientists. Their technique could help to minimize magnetic noise in sensitive superconducting detectors, and could even help to build a new generation of devices for supercomputers.

When cooled below a critical temperature, superconductors carry electricity with no resistance. But magnetic fields can disrupt this behavior by introducing magnetic flux quanta into the material. These quanta, also known as vortices, are the basic units of magnetism, just as the charge of an electron is the fundamental unit of electricity.

Scientists can control how these vortices move by introducing tiny traps, or nano-holes, into the structure of the superconducting material. But since the pattern of these tiny traps is fixed once the device is made, it’s a relatively inflexible approach that restricts the way the vortices can be moved around.

Now, a team including Franco Nori and Sergey Savel’ev of RIKEN’s Frontier Research System in Wako, have shown how to precisely control the movement of magnetic flux quanta with an alternating electric current (AC)1.

The scientists tested the method on a high-temperature superconductor made from bismuth, strontium, calcium and copper (Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8 + ä). When the electrical current oscillates back and forth, the vortices obediently follow their rhythm.

Nori, also based at University of Michigan, US, says that the technique is like leading the magnetic flux quanta through a series of dance steps (Fig. 1). “The applied current acts as the leading dance partner and the vortices follow the steps imposed by the current,” he says.

More complicated rhythms are created by adding more overlapping alternating currents, allowing the scientists to steer their magnetic flux quanta through the material. “The two ‘control knobs’ we use are the ratio of the AC frequencies, and the relative phase difference between them,” explains Nori.

Savel’ev, also at Loughborough University, UK, adds: “By slowly varying either one of these two control knobs, vortices are pushed either in one direction or the opposite.”

Nori says that the technique could also be used to manipulate trapped ions, moving electrons around in certain types of crystal, or even separating different types of very tiny particles.

In the longer term, the scientists hope that the technique could contribute to the burgeoning field of ‘fluxtronics’—moving magnetic quanta around to manipulate computer data. This would potentially be much faster that conventional methods relying on shuttling electrons between transistors.

1. Ooi, S., Savel'ev, S., Gaifullin, M. B., Mochiku, T., Hirata, K. & Nori, F. Nonlinear nanodevices using magnetic flux quanta. Physical Review Letters 99, 207003 (2007).

Saeko Okada | ResearchSEA
Further information:
http://www.rikenresearch.riken.jp/research/391/
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun
18.04.2019 | University of Warwick

nachricht In vivo super-resolution photoacoustic computed tomography by localization of single dyed droplets
18.04.2019 | Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences

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: Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter

  • Coolest and smallest star to produce a superflare found
  • Star is a tenth of the radius of our Sun
  • Researchers led by University of Warwick could only see...

Im Focus: Quantum simulation more stable than expected

A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.

Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...

Im Focus: Largest, fastest array of microscopic 'traffic cops' for optical communications

The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...

Im Focus: A long-distance relationship in femtoseconds

Physicists observe how electron-hole pairs drift apart at ultrafast speed, but still remain strongly bound.

Modern electronics relies on ultrafast charge motion on ever shorter length scales. Physicists from Regensburg and Gothenburg have now succeeded in resolving a...

Im Focus: Researchers 3D print metamaterials with novel optical properties

Engineers create novel optical devices, including a moth eye-inspired omnidirectional microwave antenna

A team of engineers at Tufts University has developed a series of 3D printed metamaterials with unique microwave or optical properties that go beyond what is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

Fraunhofer FHR at the IEEE Radar Conference 2019 in Boston, USA

09.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

New automated biological-sample analysis systems to accelerate disease detection

18.04.2019 | Life Sciences

Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

18.04.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

New eDNA technology used to quickly assess coral reefs

18.04.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>