Navigation Links
New NIST microscope measures nanomagnet property vital to 'spintronics'

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a new microscope able to view and measure an important but elusive property of the nanoscale magnets used in an advanced, experimental form of digital memory. The new instrument already has demonstrated its utility with initial results that suggest how to limit power consumption in future computer memories.

NIST's heterodyne magneto-optic microwave microscope, or H-MOMM, can measure collective dynamics of the electrons' spinsthe basic phenomenon behind magnetismin individual magnets as small as 100 nanometers in diameter. Nanomagnets are central components of low-power, high-speed "spintronic" computer memory, which might soon replace conventional random-access memory. Spintronics relies on electrons behaving like bar magnets, pointing in different directions to manipulate and store data, whereas conventional electronics rely on charge.

"The measurement technique is entirely novel, the capability that it has enabled is unprecedented, and the scientific results are groundbreaking," project leader Tom Silva says.

As described in a new paper,* NIST researchers used the H-MOMM to quantify, for the first time, the spin relaxation processor dampingin individual nanomagnets. Spin relaxation is related to how much energy is required to switch a unit of spintronic memory between a 0 and a 1 (the bits used to represent data).

The nanomagnets used in experimental spintronic systems are too big to yield their secrets to conventional atomic physics tools yet too small for techniques used with bulk materials. Until now, researchers have been forced to measure the average damping from groups of nanomagnets. The new microscope enabled NIST researchers to study, in detail, the ups and downs of spin excitation in individual magnets made of a layer of a nickel-iron alloy on a sapphire base.

The H-MOMM combines optical and microwave techniques. Two green laser beams are merged to generate microwaves, which excite "spin waves"magnetic oscillations that vary with position across an individual nanomagnet, like waves in a bathtub. Polarized light from one laser is used to analyze the excitation pattern. By measuring excitation as a function of magnetic field and microwave frequency, researchers can deduce the damping of various spin waves in each nanomagnet.

Measurement and control of magnetic damping is crucial for spintronics, because the smaller the damping, the less energy is required to store a bit of data, and the less power a device requires to operate. The NIST study suggests that designing spintronic devices to have uniform spin waves could dramatically reduce the energy required to write a bit.

The new microscope is one outcome of an ongoing NIST effort to develop methods for measuring defects in magnetic nanostructures. At extremely small scales, defects dominate and can disrupt magnetic device behavior, resulting in errors in reading and writing information.


Contact: Laura Ost
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Related biology technology :

1. Gated STED -- developing the next generation of super-resolution microscopes
2. York researchers create tornados inside electron microscopes
3. Electron microscopes with a twist
4. Optical microscopes lend a hand to graphene research
5. Cellphone Microscope Inventor Honored with Biophotonics Technology Innovator Award
6. New York Microscope Company Adds Seiler Line of Microscopes
7. New York Microscope Launches New Website
8. Nations Best Health Care Organizations for Patient Satisfaction, Core Measures Honored by Press Ganey
9. A giant step in a miniature world: UZH researcher measures the electrical charge of nano particles
10. New metamaterial allows transmission gain while retaining negative refraction property
11. Intellectual Property Lawyer Available for Comment on Recent Supreme Court Ruling
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... , November 27, 2015 ... Growing popularity of companion diagnostics is ... cancer biomarkers market with pharmaceutical companies and ... companion diagnostic tests. . ... Complete report on global cancer biomarkers ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015 --> ... - 2020 report analyzes that automating biobanking workflow ... in long-term samples, minimizing manual errors, improving the ... manual errors such as mislabeling or inaccurate sample ... plays a vital role in blood fractionation, DNA ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , November 25, 2015 ... cat and human plaque and pave the way for more ... problems in cats     --> ... most commonly diagnosed health problems in cats, yet relatively little ... now. Two collaborative studies have been conducted by researchers from ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris ... that its business and prospects remain fundamentally strong ... Zoptrex™ (zoptarelin doxorubicin) recently received DSMB recommendation to ... completion following review of the final interim efficacy ... 2 Primary Endpoint in men with heavily pretreated ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:10/29/2015)... 2015 NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" ... on the growing mobile commerce market and creator ... a leading marketplace to discover and buy innovative ... wallet on StackSocial for this holiday season.   ... "Company"), a biometric authentication company focused on the ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... 2015 Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: SYNA ), the ... has adopted the Synaptics ® ClearPad ® ... its newest flagship smartphones, the Nexus 5X by LG ... --> --> Synaptics works closely ... collaboration in the joint development of next generation technologies. ...
(Date:10/23/2015)... 23, 2015 Research and Markets ( ... Voice Recognition Biometrics Market 2015-2019" report to their ... The global voice recognition biometrics market to grow ... --> --> The report, ... based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):