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Three-dimensional magnetic interactions could lead to new forms of computing.

A new form of magnetic interaction that pushes a previously two-dimensional phenomenon to the third dimension.

Credit: University of Glasgow

Scientists say that a new form of magnetic interaction that pushes a previously two-dimensional phenomenon into the third dimension could open up a series of exciting new possibilities for data storage and advanced computing.

In a new article published today in the magazine. Materials of nature, a team led by physicists at the University of Glasgow describes how a new way of successfully transmitting information from a series of small magnets arranged in an ultrafine film to magnets has been found in a second movie below.

Its progress adds an additional literal and metaphorical dimension to "spintronics", the field of science dedicated to storage, recovery and data processing, which has already had a great impact on the technology industry.

Anyone who has played with a pair of magnets understands that opposites attract, the south pole of one magnet attracts the north pole of the other. While that is true of the scale most people are familiar with, the way in which magnets interact with each other undergoes some significant changes as magnets are reduced.

At the nanoscale, where magnetic materials may be only a few billionths of a meter in size, magnets interact with each other in new and strange ways, including the possibility of attracting and repelling at 90 degree angles rather than in a straight line.

Scientists have already learned to exploit these unusual properties to encode and process information in thin films covered with a single layer of nanoscale magnets.

The benefits of these systems & # 39; spintronics & # 39; (low energy consumption, high storage capacity and greater robustness) have made invaluable additions to technology, such as magnetic hard drives, and won the Nobel Prize for spintronics discoverers in 2007.

However, the functionality of the magnetic systems used today in computers remains limited to one plane, which limits their capacity. Now, the team led by the University of Glasgow, together with partners from the Universities of Cambridge and Hamburg, the Technical University of Eindhoven and the School of Sciences of the University of Aalto, have developed a new way of communicating information from a layer to another, adding new storage and computing potential.

Dr. Amalio Fernández-Pacheco, an early career fellow of EPSRC in the School of Physics and Astronomy of the University, is the main author of the article. He said: "The discovery of this new type of interaction between neighboring layers gives us a rich and exciting way to explore and exploit unprecedented three-dimensional magnetic states in multilayer nanoscale magnets.

"It's a bit like receiving an additional note on a musical scale with which to play: it opens up a new world of possibilities, not only for the processing and storage of conventional information, but also for new forms of computing that we have not even thought about." of still. "

The transmission of information between layers that the team has created is based on what physicists know as chiral spin interactions, a type of magnetic force that favors a particular sense of rotation in neighboring nanoscale magnets. Thanks to recent advances in spintronics, it is now possible to stabilize these interactions within a magnetic layer. This has been exploited, for example, to create skyrmions, a type of nanoscale magnetic object with superior properties for computer applications.

The team's research has now extended these types of interactions to neighboring layers for the first time. They manufactured a multilayer system consisting of ultrafine magnetic films separated by non-magnetic metal spacers. The structure of the system, and a precise adjustment of the properties of each layer and its interfaces, creates unusual inclined magnetic configurations, where the magnetic field of the two layers forms angles between zero and 90 degrees.

Unlike standard multi-layer magnets, it is easier for these magnetic fields to form clockwise than counterclockwise, a fingerprint that there is an interaction between chiral coils between the two magnetic layers. This rupture of the rotational symmetry was observed at room temperature and under standard environmental conditions. As a result, this new type of magnetic interaction between layers opens interesting perspectives to realize topologically complex three-dimensional magnetic configurations in spintronic technologies.

The team article, entitled "Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya Symmetry Interception Interactions in Synthetic Antiferromagnetics", is published in Materials of nature.

New interaction between thin film magnets for faster memory devices

More information:
Dzyaloshinskii – Moriya intercalary interactions that break the symmetry in synthetic antiferromagnetics, Materials of nature (2019). DOI: 10.1038 / s41563-019-0386-4, https://www.nature.com/articles/s41563-019-0386-4

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Three-dimensional magnetic interactions could lead to new forms of computing (2019, June 4)
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from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-d-magnetic-interactions.html

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