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Home > Press > Magnetic Vortex Switch Leads to Electric Pulse

Abstract:
Researchers at the University of Arkansas have shown that changing the chirality, or direction of spin, of a nanoscale magnetic vortex creates an electric pulse, suggesting that such a pulse might be of use in creating computer memory and writing information.

Magnetic Vortex Switch Leads to Electric Pulse

Fayetteville, AR | Posted on April 8th, 2009

Physicists Sergey Prosandeev and Laurent Bellaiche reported their findings in Physical Review Letters.

"This is new physics," Prosandeev said. "There are many possibilities that can follow from this."

The researchers looked at ferromagnets, a class of materials with novel properties at the nanoscale that have the potential to create new, efficient devices. They focused on the recently discovered vortex structure found at the nanoscale, investigating if a possible electric field can be generated when the vortex changes chirality.

"We change the magnetic structure but measure the associated electric field," Prosandeev said.

They found that switching the direction of the vortex from clockwise to counterclockwise produced a positive electric pulse - and that switching the vortex in the opposite direction created an electric pulse with a negative sign. The resulting electric pulse can thus serve as the fingerprint indicating that switches of vortices did occur, as such a switch is difficult to directly observe.

Switching of some physical properties such as polarization or magnetization currently is used in computer memory and writing and storing information, but because of the larger scale, it requires more energy and materials. Being able to create switches of vortices with less material and energy could create more efficient devices.

The researchers have derived a formula showing the relationship between the magnetic vortex and the electric pulse and have shown how it occurs graphically over time. The next step will be experiments to see this phenomenon in action.

"Theoreticians show what can be the next step," Prosandeev said. "These relationships can then be applied to technology."

####

About University of Arkansas
The University of Arkansas, often shortened to U of A or just UA, is a public co-educational land-grant university. It is the flagship campus of the University of Arkansas System and is located in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Founded as Arkansas Industrial University in 1871, its present name was adopted in 1899 and classes were first held in February 1872. It is noted for its strong architecture, agriculture (particularly poultry science),[4] creative writing and business programs.[5] It is also noted for the fact that University of Arkansas engineering students won the 2006 world championship for solar-powered boats.

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Sergey Prosandeev, research professor, physics
J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences
479-575-6668,

Laurent Bellaiche, Twenty-First Century Endowed Professorship in Nanotechnology and Science Education, and professor of physics
J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences
479-575-6425,

Melissa Lutz Blouin, director of science and research communications
University Relations
479-575-5555,

Copyright © University of Arkansas

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