Scientists perform atomic scale manipulation of magnets

Feb 14, 2021 22:54 IST

Lancaster (UK), February 14 (ANI): An international team of scientists has been successful in manipulating magnets at the atomic level. This new discovery will be instrumental in securing fast and energy efficient data processing technologies in the future.
The results of this study are published in the prestigious journal Nature Materials by the international team from Lancaster, Delft, Nijmegen, Liege, and Kiev.
Physicist Dr Rostislav Mikhaylovskiy from Lancaster University said: “With state-of-the-art efficiency trends of conventional technology, new scientific methods are particularly valuable. Our discovery of ultra-fast magnetic-driven control opens wide avenues for technologies Fast and energy efficient data processing in the future is essential to keep up with our data hunger. “
Magnetic materials are widely used in today’s life with applications ranging from fridge magnets to Google and Amazon data centers used to store digital information.
These materials host trillions of basic magnetic resins or “spins”, the alignment of which is largely controlled by the arrangement of the atoms in the crystal surface.
The spinning can be seen as a basic “compass needle”, usually designed as an arrow showing the direction from the North to South poles. In magnets, all spins are identical to the force called exchange interaction. The exchange interaction is one of the strongest quantum effects dependent on the presence of magnetic materials.

The growing demand for efficient magnetic data processing calls for new ways to manipulate the magnetic state and manipulate the exchange interaction as the most efficient and ultimately the fastest method. to control magnetism.
To achieve this result, the researchers used the fastest and strongest available stimulus: ultrashort laser pulse excitation. They used light to induce a certain atomic effect of the magnet’s crystal voltage which greatly disturbed the structure of the material.
PhD student Jorrit Hortensius from Delft Technical University said: “We selectively shake magnet beads that are made up of small magnetic moments up and down so they don’t have pure magnetization, unlike the magnets familiar frids. “
After shaking the crystal for a very short time, the researchers measured how the magnetic properties change directly in time. After shaking, the magnetic system of the antiferromagnet changes, so that bare magnetization appears: for a fraction of time the material resembles the daily fridge magnets.
All of this is happening in an unprecedented time of less than a few picoseconds (millions of millions of seconds). This time not only orders of magnitude shorter than the recording time in today’s computer hard drives, but it also matches the basic limit for the magnetization change.
Dr Rostislav Mikhaylovskiy of Lancaster University explains: “Magnetic control by atomic vibrations has long been thought to be limited to sound vibrations (sound waves) and cannot be faster than nanoseconds. We have Reducing magnetic switching time by 1000 times is a huge milestone in itself. “
Dr Dmytro Afanasiev from Delft Technical University said: “We believe our findings will encourage further research into the study and understanding of the exact mechanisms governing ultrafast lattice control of the magnetic state. . “(ANI)