Storing information in antiferromagnetic materials

August 24, 2020

Researchers at Mainz University were able to show that information can be stored in antiferromagnetic materials and to measure the efficiency of the writing operation

We all store more and more information, while the end devices are supposed to get smaller and smaller. However, due to continuous technological improvement, conventional electronics based on silicon is rapidly reaching its limits - for example limits of physical nature such as the bit size or the number of electrons required to store information. Spintronics, and antiferromagnetic materials in particular, offers an alternative. It is not only electrons that are used to store information, but also their spin containing magnetic information. In this way, twice as much information can be stored in the same room. So far, however, it has been controversial whether it is even possible to store information electrically in antiferromagnetic materials.

Physicists unveil the potential of antiferromagnetic materials

Researchers at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), in collaboration with Tohoku University in Sendai in Japan, have now been able to prove that it works: "We were not only able to show that information storage in antiferromagnetic materials is fundamentally possible, but also to measure how efficiently information can be written electrically in insulating antiferromagnetic materials," said Dr. Lorenzo Baldrati, Marie Sklowdoska-Curie Fellow in Professor Mathias Kläui's group at JGU. For their measurements, the researchers used the antiferromagnetic insulator Cobalt oxide CoO - a model material that paves the way for applications. The result: Currents are much more efficient than magnetic fields to manipulate antiferromagnetic materials. This discovery opens the way toward applications ranging from smart cards that cannot be erased by external magnetic fields to ultrafast computers - thanks to the superior properties of antiferromagnets over ferromagnets. The research paper has recently been published in Physical Review Letters. In further steps, the researchers at JGU want to investigate how quickly information can be saved and how "small" the memory can be written to.

Active German-Japanese exchange

"Our longstanding collaboration with the leading university in the field of spintronics, Tohoku University, has generated another exciting piece of work", emphasized Professor Mathias Kläui. "With the support of the German Exchange Service, the Graduate School of Excellence Materials Science in Mainz, and the German Research Foundation, we initiated a lively exchange between Mainz and Sendai, working with theory groups at the forefront of this topic. We have opportunities for first joint degrees between our universities, which is noticed by students. This is a next step in the formation of an international team of excellence in the burgeoning field of antiferromagnetic spintronics."
-end-
Related links:

https://spintronicsartes.wordpress.com/ - Antiferromagnetic Spin Transport and Switching (ARTES) project of Marie Sk?odowska-Curie Fellow Dr. Lorenzo Baldrati ;

https://www.klaeui-lab.physik.uni-mainz.de/ - Kläui Lab at the JGU Institute of Physics ;

https://www.blogs.uni-mainz.de/fb08-iph-eng/ - JGU Institute of Physics ;

http://www.mainz.uni-mainz.de/ - Graduate School of Excellence Materials Science in Mainz (MAINZ) ;

https://www.uni-kl.de/trr173/ - DFG Collaborative Research Center/Transregio 173: Spin+X - Spin in its collective environment

Read more:

https://www.uni-mainz.de/presse/aktuell/10211_ENG_HTML.php - press release "Physicists make one step toward using insulating antiferromagnetic materials in future components" (25 Oct. 2019) ;

https://www.uni-mainz.de/presse/aktuell/6140_ENG_HTML.php - press release "New devices based on rust could reduce excess heat in computers" (17 Sept. 2018) ;

http://www.uni-mainz.de/presse/aktuell/4356_ENG_HTML.php - press release "Construction set of magnon logic extended: Magon spin currents can be controlled via spin valve structure" (14 March 2018) ;

http://www.uni-mainz.de/presse/aktuell/3937_ENG_HTML.php - press release "Antiferromagnets prove their potential for spin-based information technology" (29 Jan. 2018)

Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet Mainz

Related Magnetic Fields Articles from Brightsurf:

Physicists circumvent centuries-old theory to cancel magnetic fields
A team of scientists including two physicists at the University of Sussex has found a way to circumvent a 178-year old theory which means they can effectively cancel magnetic fields at a distance.

Magnetic fields on the moon are the remnant of an ancient core dynamo
An international simulation study by scientists from the US, Australia, and Germany, shows that alternative explanatory models such as asteroid impacts do not generate sufficiently large magnetic fields.

Modelling extreme magnetic fields and temperature variation on distant stars
New research is helping to explain one of the big questions that has perplexed astrophysicists for the past 30 years - what causes the changing brightness of distant stars called magnetars.

Could megatesla magnetic fields be realized on Earth?
A team of researchers led by Osaka University discovered a novel mechanism called a ''microtube implosion,'' demonstrating the generation of megatesla-order magnetic fields, which is three orders of magnitude higher than those ever experimentally achieved.

Superconductors are super resilient to magnetic fields
A Professor at the University of Tsukuba provides a new theoretical mechanism that explains the ability of superconductive materials to bounce back from being exposed to a magnetic field.

A tiny instrument to measure the faintest magnetic fields
Physicists at the University of Basel have developed a minuscule instrument able to detect extremely faint magnetic fields.

Graphene sensors find subtleties in magnetic fields
Cornell researchers used an ultrathin graphene ''sandwich'' to create a tiny magnetic field sensor that can operate over a greater temperature range than previous sensors, while also detecting miniscule changes in magnetic fields that might otherwise get lost within a larger magnetic background.

Twisting magnetic fields for extreme plasma compression
A new spin on the magnetic compression of plasmas could improve materials science, nuclear fusion research, X-ray generation and laboratory astrophysics, research led by the University of Michigan suggests.

How magnetic fields and 3D printers will create the pills of tomorrow
Doctors could soon be administering an entire course of treatment for life-threatening conditions with a 3D printed capsule controlled by magnetic fields thanks to advances made by University of Sussex researchers.

Researchers develop ultra-sensitive device for detecting magnetic fields
The new magnetic sensor is inexpensive to make, works on minimal power and is 20 times more sensitive than many traditional sensors.

Read More: Magnetic Fields News and Magnetic Fields Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.