Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New class of magnetic materials: Physicists pave the way for more energy efficient technology

Date:
February 28, 2014
Source:
University of York
Summary:
Scientists have paved the way for a new class ofmagnetic materials and devices with improved performance and power efficiency. Magnetic materials are currently used to store almost all digital information. However, with information processing and storage now making up a significant fraction of the world's energy consumption, continuing improvements in energy efficiency will require new technologies and materials.

An international team of scientists led by physicists from the University of York has paved the way for a new class of magnetic materials and devices with improved performance and power efficiency.

Magnetic materials are currently used to store almost all digital information. However, with information processing and storage now making up a significant fraction of the world's energy consumption, continuing improvements in energy efficiency will require new technologies and materials.

A promising development is all-optical thermally induced magnetic switching (TIMS), which uses ultrafast laser pulses to change the magnetic state of the material, equivalent to writing a single bit of data. In all-optical switching there is no need to use magnetic fields to write the data and so a significant reduction in power consumption can be made. Moreover, the deposited laser energy per written bit is much smaller.

Until now, only rare-earth-transition-metal alloys called ferrimagnets have been shown to exhibit all-optical switching. However, these materials are both difficult to produce at the nanoscale necessary for technological devices and expensive due to their use of rare-earth metals such as Gadolinium (Gd) and Terbium (Tb).

Now new research, led by York's Department of Physics and involving scientists from Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB), Germany and Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands offers a new possibility for all-optical switching.

The research, published in Applied Physics Letters, demonstrates the use of a synthetic ferrimagnet -- a sandwich of two ferromagnetic materials and a non-magnetic spacer layer. The spacer layer engineers the coupling between the two ferromagnets so that they align opposite to one another. When subjected to an ultrafast laser pulse this structure spontaneously switches its magnetic state representing writing a single bit of data.

Corresponding author Dr Richard Evans, from York's Department of Physics, said: "Energy efficiency is one of the most important goals for technological devices due to their expanding use with an increasing world population and resultant demand for energy.

"The synthetic ferrimagnet structure overcomes the intrinsic problems of rare-earth-transition-metal alloys and paves the way for a new class of magnetic materials and devices with improved performance and power efficiency. The results are a significant step towards realising a device based on thermally induced switching as it shows that structures on the nanometre length scale can be used."

Co-author Professor Theo Rasing, Head of the Department Spectroscopy of Solids and Interfaces at Radboud University Nijmegen, said: "Since our original discovery of all-optical-switching of magnetic domains in these ferrimagnetic alloys more than five years ago, the fruitful collaboration between our experimental efforts, the possibilities provided by the unique instrumentation of the Helmholtz-Zentrum and the theoretical insight provided by the York team, has led to this truly European success."

The research received financial support from the EU Seventh Framework Programme, as well as the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) and the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM).


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Richard F. L. Evans, Thomas A. Ostler, Roy W. Chantrell, Ilie Radu, Theo Rasing. Ultrafast thermally induced magnetic switching in synthetic ferrimagnets. Applied Physics Letters, 2014; 104 (8): 082410 DOI: 10.1063/1.4867015

Cite This Page:

University of York. "New class of magnetic materials: Physicists pave the way for more energy efficient technology." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140228080643.htm>.
University of York. (2014, February 28). New class of magnetic materials: Physicists pave the way for more energy efficient technology. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140228080643.htm
University of York. "New class of magnetic materials: Physicists pave the way for more energy efficient technology." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140228080643.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Tesla, Panasonic Ink Deal To Make Huge Battery 'Gigafactory'

Tesla, Panasonic Ink Deal To Make Huge Battery 'Gigafactory'

Newsy (July 31, 2014) The deal will help build a massive battery factory that Tesla says will produce 500,000 lithium batteries by 2020. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
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
7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

Howdini (July 30, 2014) Fresh breath and clean teeth are great, but have you ever thought, "my toothpaste could be doing more". Well, it can! Lots of things! Howdini has 7 new uses for this household staple. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smoked: 2015 Ducati Diavel Vs 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray Drag Race

Smoked: 2015 Ducati Diavel Vs 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray Drag Race

Cycle World (July 30, 2014) The Bonnier Motorcycle Group presents Smoked; a three part video series. In this episode the 2015 Ducati Diavel takes on the 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray Video provided by Cycle World
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