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Extremely Small Magnetic Fields Can Be Manipulated With Soundwaves, Research Shows

Date:
April 29, 2007
Source:
Forschungsverbund Berlin
Summary:
Scientists have shown how extremely small and intensive magnetic fields can be manipulated. They found a way to move smallest possible magnetic entities - flux quanta - with the help of acoustic waves. Their results may open new ways to process data.
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FULL STORY

Scientists at the Paul Drude Institute for Solid State Electronics (PDI) in Berlin have shown how extremely small and intensive magnetic fields can be manipulated. The scientists lead by Dr. Carsten Hucho found a way to move smallest possible magnetic entities – so-called flux quanta – with the help of acoustic waves. Their results may open new ways to process data.

Currently, electrons are used to transport information and process data but scientists are looking for alternatives. One possibility is the use of the magnetic properties of electrons, the so-called spin. Another avenue is the magnetic flux. „You cannot pin down single electrons“, says Carsten Hucho, „and their spin-orientation is not permanent.” Both problems can be avoided by using flux quanta in superconductors. These tiny magnetic fields, also called vortices, remain stable for a long time – theoretically infinite. ”We can keep track of an individual flux quantum – and now we can move the flux around”, says Hucho.

The scientists at PDI managed to transport magnetic flux quanta with a surface acoustic wave. The vortices move with the soundwave like on a conveyor-belt. So will these new findings accelerate the development of so-called “fluxtronics” after electronics and spintronics? Hucho cautions that “there is still a long way to go.” The main goal of the study was to show that magnetic flux quanta in superconductors can be manipulated in a well-defined way.

This possibility of manipulating the vortex motion and vortex density by a dynamic external parameter has far-reaching technological consequences besides the storage and processing of data. For instance, tiny magnetic particles could be transported in some sort of conveyor belt. “This would be of interest for molecular analytics in a so-called lab on a chip”, says Hucho.

Fabian Jachmann, Carsten Hucho: “Transport of magnetic vortices by surface acoustic waves” in „Solid State Communications“  Journal Solid State Communications (Vol. 142, p. 212). (Vol. 142, p. 212).


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The above story is based on materials provided by Forschungsverbund Berlin. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


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Forschungsverbund Berlin. "Extremely Small Magnetic Fields Can Be Manipulated With Soundwaves, Research Shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 April 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070427101316.htm>.
Forschungsverbund Berlin. (2007, April 29). Extremely Small Magnetic Fields Can Be Manipulated With Soundwaves, Research Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 22, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070427101316.htm
Forschungsverbund Berlin. "Extremely Small Magnetic Fields Can Be Manipulated With Soundwaves, Research Shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070427101316.htm (accessed May 22, 2015).

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