Navigation Links
The art of magnetic writing
Date:8/1/2011

Computer files that allow us to watch videos, store pictures, and edit all kinds of media formats are nothing else but streams of "0" and "1" digital data, that is, bits and bytes. Modern computing technology is based on our ability to write, store, and retrieve digital information as efficiently as possible. In a computer hard disk, this is achieved in practice by writing information on a thin magnetic layer, where magnetic domains pointing "up" represent a "1" and magnetic domains pointing down represent a "0".

The size of these magnetic domains has now reached a few tens of nanometers, allowing us to store a Terabyte of data in the space of just about 4 square centimeters. Miniaturization, however, has created numerous problems that physicists and engineers worldwide struggle to solve at the pace demanded by an ever-growing information technology industry. The process of writing information on tiny magnetic bits one by one, as fast as possible, and with little energy consumption, represents one of the biggest hurdles in this field.

As reported this week in Nature, a team of scientists from the Catalan Institute of Nanotechnology, ICREA, and Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Mihai Miron, Kevin Garello, and Pietro Gambardella, in collaboration with Gilles Gaudin and colleagues working at SPINTEC in Grenoble, France, have discovered a new method to write magnetic data that fulfils all of these requirements.

Magnetic writing is currently performed using magnetic fields produced by wires and coils, a methodology suffering severe limitations in scalability and energy efficiency. The new technique eliminates the need for cumbersome magnetic fields and provides extremely simple and reversible writing of memory elements by injecting an electric current parallel to the plane of a magnetic bit. The key to this effect lies in engineering asymmetric interfaces at the top and bottom of the magnetic layer, which induces an electric field across the material, in this case a cobalt film less than one nanometer thick sandwiched between platinum and aluminum oxide.

Due to subtle relativistic effects, electrons traversing the Co layer effectively see the material's electric field as a magnetic field, which in turn twists their magnetization. Depending on the intensity of the current and the direction of the magnetization, one can induce an effective magnetic field, intrinsic to the material that is strong enough to reverse the magnetization. The research team showed that this method works reliably at room temperature using current pulses that last less than 10 ns in magnetic bits as small as 200 x 200 square nanometers, while further miniaturization and faster switching appear easily within reach. Although there is currently no theory describing this effect, this work has many interesting applications for the magnetic recording industry, and in particular for the realization of magnetic random access memories, so-called MRAMs. By replacing standard RAMs, which need to be refreshed every few milliseconds, non-volatile MRAMs would allow instant power up of a computer and also save a substantial amount of energy.

An additional advantage of the discovery reported here is that current-induced magnetic writing is more efficient in "hard" magnetic layers than in "soft" ones. This is somehow counterintuitive, as soft magnetic materials are by definition the easier to switch using external magnetic fields, but very practical since hard magnets can be miniaturized to nanometer dimensions without losing their magnetic properties. This would allow the information storage density to be increased without compromising the ability to write it. The results of this work have also led to three patent applications dealing with the fabrication of magnetic storage and logic devices.


'/>"/>

Contact: Ana de la Osa
ana.delaosa@icn.cat
34-935-814-963
Institut Catal de Nanotecnologia
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. New Publications Show Noninvasive Magnetic Resonance-Guided Focused Ultrasound to be a Potentially Safe, Effective Pain-Relieving Treatment for Bone Metastases
2. Stereotaxis Showcases Advancements for Remote Magnetic Ablations
3. Capture of nanomagnetic fingerprints a boost for next-generation information storage media
4. Nanophysicists find unexpected magnetic effect
5. Unexpectedly long-range effects in advanced magnetic devices
6. Researchers design new graphene-based, nano-material with magnetic properties
7. Researchers design new graphene-based, nanomaterial with magnetic properties
8. Magnetic mixing creates quite a stir
9. Using magnetic toys as inspiration, researchers tease out structures of self-assembled clusters
10. Brown physicist discovers odd, fluctuating magnetic waves
11. Magnetic fields drive drug-loaded nanoparticles to reduce blood vessel blockages in an animal study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/21/2017)... 2017 /PRNewswire/ - SQI Diagnostics Inc. ("SQI" or the "Company") (TSX-V: ... the three months ended December 31, 2016. ... and diagnostics company that develops and commercializes proprietary technologies and ... ... the commercial milestones achieved in fiscal 2016," said Andrew ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... ... 21, 2017 , ... Genedata, a leading provider of advanced ... establishment of Genedata Limited as a new subsidiary in the United Kingdom. The ... science informatics. Creating the UK subsidiary reinforces Genedata’s commitment to collaborate closely with ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... IL (PRWEB) , ... February ... ... of the Life -Sciences division, Treximo will pair its $200M operational capacity ... results-based consulting and project management in areas affecting quality and operational management. ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... VANCOUVER, British Columbia , Feb. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... that apatorsen results from two randomized Phase 2 clinical trials ... 2017 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium, held February 16 th - 18 ... from trials in bladder and prostate cancers demonstrated apatorsen was ... standard-of-care treatments. ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:2/3/2017)...  Texas Biomedical Research Institute announced that its Board of ... as the Institute,s new President and CEO. Dr. Schlesinger will ... He is currently the Chair of the Department of Microbial ... Interface Biology at Ohio State University. "We are ... CEO of Texas Biomed," said Dr. James O. Rubin ...
(Date:2/2/2017)... 2017   TapImmune, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... in the development of innovative peptide and gene-based ... and metastatic disease, announced today it has successfully ... a second clinical lot of TPIV 200, the ... The manufactured vaccine product will be used to ...
(Date:2/2/2017)... , Feb. 1, 2017  Central to ... and meaningful advances worldwide, The Japan Prize Foundation ... Prize, who have pushed the envelope in their ... and Communication. Three scientists are being recognized with ... achievements that not only contribute to the advancement ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):