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Commencement 2008: Student innovation could improve data storage, magnetic sensors
Date:5/14/2008

t contains no internal magnetic parts. Most STMs in use today have magnetic parts that make it impossible for them to operate reliably in an external magnetic field according to Morrow. With his modified non-magnetic STM, Morrow was able to use an electromagnet to control the magnetic behavior of his nanocolumns and measure the magnetic properties of fewer than 10 nanocolumns at one time.

To date it has been extremely difficult to get an instrument to detect magnetic properties on such a small scale, Morrow said. With this type of sensitivity, engineers will be able to sense the very low level magnetic properties of a material with sub-micron spatial resolution.

He is currently working to fine-tune the device to detect the properties of just one nanocolumn. His technique could have important implications for the study of other magnetic nanostructures for magnetic sensing applications including motion sensors for industrial applications, detection of magnetic ink in currency and other secure documents, and even help detect and further understand the minuscule magnetic fields generated by the human body.

His discoveries have been published in two articles in the journal Nanotechnology.

Morrow proudly originates from the city of Spartanburg, S.C., the only boy in a close family that includes three sisters. His father is a retired chemistry professor at Wofford College, the local liberal arts college that Morrow attended for his bachelors, and his mother is a master teacher who instructs elementary schoolteachers in improving their teaching methods. Their love of learning and teaching has inspired me to one day become a teacher myself, Morrow said.


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Contact: Gabrielle DeMarco
demarg@rpi.edu
518-276-6542
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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