Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors


Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Spinning into the future of data storage

Abstract:
Scientists from Queen Mary, University of London have improved their understanding of the inner workings of our computers and mp3 players, thanks to an exciting new field of research called 'organic spintronics'.

Dr Alan Drew from Queen Mary's Department of Physics and the University of Freiburg, Switzerland, along with colleagues from the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI)*, Switzerland, has become the first to measure how the magnetic polarisation is lost in a device similar to a hard drive 'read-head' found in every computer produced in the last ten years.

Spinning into the future of data storage

London, UK | Posted on November 25th, 2008

Computers and mp3 players have become increasingly efficient at information storage thanks to an effect that physicists call 'giant magnetoresistance'; this allows scientists to produce electronic components which are very sensitive to external magnetic fields, known as magnetic read-heads. These read-heads allow magnetically-encoded data to be very densely packed, resulting in very small hard drives which can store more than 100 CDs worth of data in a device the size of half a cigarette box.

Unlike most electronic components, where the electron's intrinsic electric field or charge is used to carry a signal, magnetic read-heads use the electron's intrinsic magnetic field - known as their 'spin' - to carry information. Spinvalves are made up of at least three layers, two magnetic layers separated by a non-magnetic layer. Dr Drew and his team wanted to investigate how spins travel across the middle of these three layers, in the hope of improving future generations of data storage.

His findings contribute significantly to the fundamental understanding of spintronic devices, and will allow new concepts to develop and aid in the discovery of novel devices and applications, as Dr Drew explains: "Spintronics promise low-power circuits, possibly at the quantum level, and the possibility of combining communication, memory and logic on the same chip. The efficient transfer of spin in these devices remains one of the most difficult challenges facing physicists. One way of improving the efficiency of these devices could be to change the materials they are made from, but currently we are unable to predict what effects the different materials will have. Dr Drew's measurements hope to address this.

One particularly exciting part of this research is that a new combination of materials was used to make the device. Dr Drew continues "When devices are made from organic materials, which have low manufacturing costs and are very flexible, the magnetic information can be preserved for extremely long times - over a million times longer than many materials used in today's technology. These new materials have the potential to create an entirely new generation of spin-enabled devices."

Writing in the journal Nature Materials, Dr Drew explains how the researchers used muons, elementary particles that act like tiny magnets, to measure the magnetic field within the device. As Dr Morenzoni from PSI explains, "The muons have a high energy and must be slowed down before they can be used in the experiment and the equipment we used to do this is unique - PSI is the only source of 'slow' muons in the world, and the only equipment that can measure depth resolved magnetism."

In the long-run, experiments such as this will help understand the fundamental operation of spintronics and hard drive read-heads, and will help to show engineers how they can optimise the heads, and improve computer storage, vital to the next generation of technology.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Sian Halkyard

44 07-970-096-175

Copyright © Queen Mary, University of London

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Radiation-guided nanoparticles zero in on metastatic cancer July 1st, 2016

Synthesized microporous 3-D graphene-like carbons: IBS research team create carbon synthesis using zeolites as a template July 1st, 2016

No need in supercomputers: Russian scientists suggest a PC to solve complex problems tens of times faster than with massive supercomputers June 30th, 2016

Surprising qualities of insulator ring surfaces: Surface phenomena in ring-shaped topological insulators are just as controllable as those in spheres made of the same material June 30th, 2016

Spintronics

Surprising qualities of insulator ring surfaces: Surface phenomena in ring-shaped topological insulators are just as controllable as those in spheres made of the same material June 30th, 2016

CWRU physicists deploy magnetic vortex to control electron spin: Potential technology for quantum computing, keener sensors June 21st, 2016

Spintronics: Resetting the future of heat assisted magnetic recording June 15th, 2016

Spintronics development gets boost with new findings into ferromagnetism in Mn-doped GaAs June 7th, 2016

Memory Technology

Ensuring the future affordability of wind turbines, computers and electric cars June 2nd, 2016

Automating DNA origami opens door to many new uses: Like 3-D printing did for larger objects, method makes it easy to build nanoparticles out of DNA May 30th, 2016

Hybrid nanoantennas -- next-generation platform for ultradense data recording April 28th, 2016

Magnetic vortices defy temperature fluctuations: Common magnetic mineral is reliable witness to Earth's history April 19th, 2016

Discoveries

Radiation-guided nanoparticles zero in on metastatic cancer July 1st, 2016

Synthesized microporous 3-D graphene-like carbons: IBS research team create carbon synthesis using zeolites as a template July 1st, 2016

No need in supercomputers: Russian scientists suggest a PC to solve complex problems tens of times faster than with massive supercomputers June 30th, 2016

Surprising qualities of insulator ring surfaces: Surface phenomena in ring-shaped topological insulators are just as controllable as those in spheres made of the same material June 30th, 2016

Announcements

Radiation-guided nanoparticles zero in on metastatic cancer July 1st, 2016

Synthesized microporous 3-D graphene-like carbons: IBS research team create carbon synthesis using zeolites as a template July 1st, 2016

No need in supercomputers: Russian scientists suggest a PC to solve complex problems tens of times faster than with massive supercomputers June 30th, 2016

Surprising qualities of insulator ring surfaces: Surface phenomena in ring-shaped topological insulators are just as controllable as those in spheres made of the same material June 30th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic