Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stripes Instead Of Layers: Miniaturizing Magnetic Sensors By Means Of Ion Technology

Date:
June 14, 2008
Source:
Forschungszentrum Dresden Rossendorf
Summary:
Due to the enormous progress in fabrication and characterization techniques, novel magnetic materials have been widely applied, for instance as magnetic sensors in cars (angle or position sensors). Magnetic sensors are made of thin layers with different magnetic properties. With the help of ion technology, scientists were now able to shrink these multilayer systems down to one layer, retaining their magnetic properties. This discovery could make magnetic sensors even more powerful.

False-color image of magnetization configuration of the stripe structure during the process of magnetization reversal. In principal, the magnetization can take on four different values, marked by corresponding arrows (non-irradiated area: red, blue, irradiated area: yellow, green).
Credit: Courtesy of Wiley WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co.KGaA

Due to the enormous progress in fabrication and characterization techniques, novel magnetic materials have been widely applied, for instance as magnetic sensors in cars (angle or position sensors). Magnetic sensors are made of thin layers with different magnetic properties. With the help of ion technology, scientists from Dresden were now able to shrink these multilayer systems down to one layer, retaining their magnetic properties. This discovery could make magnetic sensors even more powerful. The results have recently been published in the journal Advanced Materials.

Progressive miniaturization is an important driving force for technological progress. Nowadays, magnetic multilayer systems for magnetic sensors are comprised of individual films, which are often only a few atomic layers thick. Scientists from the Leibniz Institute of Solid State and Materials Research (IFW) Dresden and from the Forschungszentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (FZD) picked up the well-known fact that it is not sufficient to reduce the thickness of the individual layers to miniaturize these systems. Instead of using multilayer systems a promising alternative is to combine the magnetic properties of the different layer materials within a single film. This goal has now been achieved by scientists from Dresden who produced an ultra-thin striped layer.

Traditional multilayer systems are made up of single layers consisting of hard magnetic and soft magnetic materials. Hard magnetic materials exhibit a stable magnetic configuration whereas the magnetization direction of soft magnetic materials can be easily controlled and thus reversed by applying a magnetic field. This effect is for instance used when magnetically stored data are read out by the read heads of hard disks. Read heads are in a way comparable to magnetic sensors like in cars or in other everyday applications, e. g. rotation controllers in hi-fi systems. Ultra-thin magnetic layer systems go back to the discovery of the giant magneto resistance effect (GMR) in ultra-thin magnetic films, for which Peter Grόnberg and Albert Fert were awarded the Nobel prize last year.

In order to further miniaturize magnetic devices, intelligent combination of both hard magnetic and soft magnetic properties is essential. Researchers from FZD and IFW Dresden could now demonstrate for the first time that both material properties can be generated in a single film – in contrast to multilayer structures – by means of ion implantation on a micrometer scale. When observed from the top, the new structure shows a stripe pattern. The scientists found out that even in a single magnetic film the borders between both materials – also called domain walls – influence the magnetization reversal behavior. This discovery might enable more powerful magnetic sensors.

The new technology also opens up a route to imaging the domain walls by means of optical microscopy. In addition, the magnetization reversal behavior can be investigated as a whole and correlated to the magnetic domain configuration. In the near future, the scientists want to approach the nanometer regime in order to investigate the emerging physical effects at the largest level of miniaturization. Dr. Jόrgen Fassbender, physicist at the FZD, explains: “We expect that at a certain feature size completely new effects arise.”


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. J. McCord, L. Schultz, J. Fassbender. Hybrid soft-magnetic lateral exchange spring films created by ion irradiation. Advanced Materials, 11/2008 DOI: 10.1002/adma.200700623

Cite This Page:

Forschungszentrum Dresden Rossendorf. "Stripes Instead Of Layers: Miniaturizing Magnetic Sensors By Means Of Ion Technology." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080606125530.htm>.
Forschungszentrum Dresden Rossendorf. (2008, June 14). Stripes Instead Of Layers: Miniaturizing Magnetic Sensors By Means Of Ion Technology. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080606125530.htm
Forschungszentrum Dresden Rossendorf. "Stripes Instead Of Layers: Miniaturizing Magnetic Sensors By Means Of Ion Technology." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080606125530.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) — British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

AP (July 30, 2014) — A ruptured 93-year-old water main left the UCLA campus awash in 8 million gallons of water in the middle of California's worst drought in decades. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

AP (July 30, 2014) — Smartphone powered paper airplane that was popular on crowdfunding website KickStarter makes its debut at Wisconsin airshow (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.K. To Allow Driverless Cars On Public Roads

U.K. To Allow Driverless Cars On Public Roads

Newsy (July 30, 2014) — Driverless cars could soon become a staple on U.K. city streets, as they're set to be introduced to a few cities in 2015. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:  

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile iPhone Android Web
      Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins