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Spin pumping effect proven for the first time
Date:9/12/2011

Bochum's physicists led by Prof. Dr. Hartmut Zabel have demonstrated the spin pumping effect in magnetic layers for the first time experimentally. The behaviour of the spin pumping had previously only been predicted theoretically. The research team at the RUB has now succeeded in measuring the effect using ultrafast X-ray scattering with picosecond resolution. Through their rotation of the magnetic moments, the so-called magnetic precession, single electrons can mutually influence each other's rotation (spin) through a non-magnetic intermediate layer. This is a crucial insight for future generations of magnetic sensors in hard disk read heads and other data storage. The researchers reported on their findings in Applied Physics Letters.

Magnetic spinning tops are different

Once put into motion and left to itself, a spinning top will slow down after a few rotations and eventually come to a halt. Friction losses deprive it of energy, until it finally stops spinning. Also, two spinning tops put at a certain distance to avoid touching show by and large the same behaviour. "In particular, we do not expect that one spinning top can affect the rotation of the other", said Prof. Hartmut Zabel. Whether both tops rotate in the same or in the opposite direction, should have no impact on the number of rotations before they come to a stop. "But that's precisely what happens with magnetic spinning tops", as Bochum's research group confirmed in its experiments.

Magnetic rotation in the gigahertz range

Once triggered, the magnetic moments rotate in a crystal lattice until their rotation energy is exhausted through excitation of lattice vibrations and spin waves. Spin waves are excitations of the magnetic moments in a crystal, which propagate in form of waves. The research team separated two ultra-thin magnetic layers with a layer of copper. The copper layer was made thick enough that the two ferromagnetic layers can have n
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Contact: Professor Dr. Hartmut Zabel
hartmut.zabel@rub.de
49-234-322-3649
Ruhr-University Bochum
Source:Eurekalert

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