Nanotechnology Now





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Vortices get organized: Exotic entities that arrange into a crystalline structure at near room-temperature could lead to a new approach to electronic memory

Figure 1: In a skyrmion (left) the electron spins, represented as arrows about which the electrons are rotating, are arranged such they map onto the surface of a sphere (right). 
Reproduced in part from Ref. 1 © 2011 X. Z. Yu et al.
Figure 1: In a skyrmion (left) the electron spins, represented as arrows about which the electrons are rotating, are arranged such they map onto the surface of a sphere (right).

Reproduced in part from Ref. 1 © 2011 X. Z. Yu et al.

Abstract:
A crystal consisting not of atoms but exotic swirling magnetic entities, called skyrmions, has been identified at near room-temperature by Yoshinori Tokura of the RIKEN Advanced Science Institute, Wako, and his colleagues from several other institutes in Japan1. Previous observations of a skyrmion crystal state, in transition-metal-silicide materials, have been at cryogenic temperatures below 40 kelvin. The existence of skyrmions at room temperature improves the practicality of harnessing their potential for use in novel computer memories.

Vortices get organized: Exotic entities that arrange into a crystalline structure at near room-temperature could lead to a new approach to electronic memory

Wako, Japan | Posted on February 26th, 2011

Skyrmions are formed on some surfaces when the spins of the electrons—think of an arrow about which each electron rotates—collectively arrange such that they wrap around the surface of a sphere (Fig. 1). This pattern spirals in such a way that the spins on the outside point up whereas those at the core point down. This collection of spins can display many properties associated with a single particle. "A skyrmion crystal is the periodic array of these particle-like entities," explains Tokura.

Earlier neutron-scattering experiments by other researchers identified this unusual effect in both iron-cobalt silicide and manganese silicide. Tokura and his team, however, investigated skyrmions in iron germanium. This alloy has the same cubic atomic crystal structure as iron-cobalt silicide and manganese silicide—the two materials in which skyrmions have been observed at low temperatures; but it remains in the necessary magnetic structure up to a much higher temperature.

Using a transmission electron microscope, the researchers probed the magnetization on the surface of polished layers of the iron-germanium alloy. They found tell-tale signs of skyrmions at temperatures up to 260 kelvin, particularly when they applied a small magnetic field perpendicularly to the surface.

This material also provides an excellent opportunity to investigate the stability of the skyrmion crystal, the team notes. Previous studies focused on very thin layers of material. Tokura and his team investigated the influence of film thickness and found that for thicknesses greater than the distance between skyrmions, about 75 nanometers in this case, the skyrmion crystal state is suppressed and a more conventional ferromagnetic phase starts to dominate.

Skyrmions could play an important role in the development of spintronics—using electron spin to carry information in the same way that electron charge is used in conventional electronics. "Skyrmion crystals could also be applied in memory and logic devices," says Tokura. The advantage over conventional systems is that control is achieved using electric, rather than magnetic fields, which is known to be more efficient.

The corresponding author for this highlight is based at the Emergent Materials Department, RIKEN Advanced Science Institute

####

About Riken Research
RIKEN is one of Japan's largest research organizations with institutes and centers in locations throughout Japan. RIKEN's 3000+ researchers publish several hundred research articles in top scientific and technical journals every year across a broad spectrum of disciplines in physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, engineering and in many areas of technology, and the number of articles is growing year on year.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
2-1 Hirosawa
Wako, Saitama 351-0198 Japan
+81-(0)48-462-1111

Copyright © Riken Research

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 Links

Yu, X.Z., Kanazawa, N., Onose, Y., Kimoto, K., Zhang, W.Z., Ishiwata, S., Matsui, Y. & Tokura, Y. Near room-temperature formation of a skyrmion crystal in thin-films of the helimagnet FeGe. Nature Materials 10, 106–109 (2011).

Related News Press

News and information

Clues to inner atomic life from subtle light-emission shifts: Hyperfine structure of light absorption by short-lived cadmium atom isotopes reveals characteristics of the nucleus that matter for high precision detection methods July 3rd, 2015

Pioneering Southampton scientist awarded prestigious physics medal July 3rd, 2015

Groundbreaking research to help control liquids at micro and nano scales July 3rd, 2015

Discovery of nanotubes offers new clues about cell-to-cell communication July 2nd, 2015

Laboratories

Influential Interfaces Lead to Advances in Organic Spintronics July 1st, 2015

NIST ‘How-To’ Website Documents Procedures for Nano-EHS Research and Testing July 1st, 2015

Ultra-stable JILA microscopy technique tracks tiny objects for hours July 1st, 2015

X-rays and electrons join forces to map catalytic reactions in real-time: New technique combines electron microscopy and synchrotron X-rays to track chemical reactions under real operating conditions June 29th, 2015

Memory Technology

The quantum middle man July 2nd, 2015

Emergence of a 'devil's staircase' in a spin-valve system July 1st, 2015

Graphene flexes its electronic muscles: Rice-led researchers calculate electrical properties of carbon cones, other shapes June 30th, 2015

Buckle up for fast ionic conduction June 16th, 2015

Self Assembly

Groundbreaking research to help control liquids at micro and nano scales July 3rd, 2015

New conductive ink for electronic apparel June 25th, 2015

Giving atoms their marching orders: Highly homogeneous nanotube enforces single-file flow of atoms in gas diffusion. Direct comparison of single-file and Fickian diffusion possible with new system described by researchers at the University of South Carolina and University of Flor June 24th, 2015

n-tech Research Issues Report on Smart Coatings Market, Free Download Available on Firm’s Website June 24th, 2015

Discoveries

Clues to inner atomic life from subtle light-emission shifts: Hyperfine structure of light absorption by short-lived cadmium atom isotopes reveals characteristics of the nucleus that matter for high precision detection methods July 3rd, 2015

Groundbreaking research to help control liquids at micro and nano scales July 3rd, 2015

Producing spin-entangled electrons July 2nd, 2015

NIST Group Maps Distribution of Carbon Nanotubes in Composite Materials July 2nd, 2015

Announcements

Clues to inner atomic life from subtle light-emission shifts: Hyperfine structure of light absorption by short-lived cadmium atom isotopes reveals characteristics of the nucleus that matter for high precision detection methods July 3rd, 2015

Pioneering Southampton scientist awarded prestigious physics medal July 3rd, 2015

Groundbreaking research to help control liquids at micro and nano scales July 3rd, 2015

NIST Group Maps Distribution of Carbon Nanotubes in Composite Materials July 2nd, 2015

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