Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

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

Novel 'converter' heralds breakthrough in ultra-fast data processing at nanoscale: Invention bagged four patents and could potentially make microprocessor chips work 1,000 times faster October 20th, 2017

Strange but true: turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer October 20th, 2017

Leti Coordinating Project to Develop Innovative Drivetrains for 3rd-generation Electric Vehicles: CEA Tech’s Contribution Includes Liten’s Knowhow in Magnetic Materials and Simulation And Leti’s Expertise in Wide-bandgap Semiconductors October 20th, 2017

MIPT scientists revisit optical constants of ultrathin gold films October 20th, 2017

Laboratories

Spin current detection in quantum materials unlocks potential for alternative electronics October 15th, 2017

Injecting electrons jolts 2-D structure into new atomic pattern: Berkeley Lab study is first to show potential of energy-efficient next-gen electronic memory October 13th, 2017

Rice U. lab surprised by ultraflat magnets: Researchers create atom-thick alloys with unanticipated magnetic properties October 13th, 2017

Copper catalyst yields high efficiency CO2-to-fuels conversion: Berkeley Lab scientists discover critical role of nanoparticle transformation September 20th, 2017

Memory Technology

Injecting electrons jolts 2-D structure into new atomic pattern: Berkeley Lab study is first to show potential of energy-efficient next-gen electronic memory October 13th, 2017

First on-chip nanoscale optical quantum memory developed: Smallest-yet optical quantum memory device is a storage medium for optical quantum networks with the potential to be scaled up for commercial use September 11th, 2017

High-speed quantum memory for photons September 9th, 2017

Fast magnetic writing of data September 7th, 2017

Self Assembly

Physicists gain new insights into nanosystems with spherical confinement: Enormous potential for the targeted delivery of pharmaceutical agents and the creation of tailored nanoparticles July 27th, 2017

Oddball enzyme provides easy path to synthetic biomaterials May 17th, 2017

Nanotubes that build themselves April 14th, 2017

Nanocages for gold particles: what is happening inside? March 16th, 2017

Discoveries

Novel 'converter' heralds breakthrough in ultra-fast data processing at nanoscale: Invention bagged four patents and could potentially make microprocessor chips work 1,000 times faster October 20th, 2017

Strange but true: turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer October 20th, 2017

MIPT scientists revisit optical constants of ultrathin gold films October 20th, 2017

Bringing the atomic world into full color: Researchers turn atomic force microscope measurements into color images October 19th, 2017

Announcements

Novel 'converter' heralds breakthrough in ultra-fast data processing at nanoscale: Invention bagged four patents and could potentially make microprocessor chips work 1,000 times faster October 20th, 2017

Strange but true: turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer October 20th, 2017

Leti Coordinating Project to Develop Innovative Drivetrains for 3rd-generation Electric Vehicles: CEA Tech’s Contribution Includes Liten’s Knowhow in Magnetic Materials and Simulation And Leti’s Expertise in Wide-bandgap Semiconductors October 20th, 2017

MIPT scientists revisit optical constants of ultrathin gold films October 20th, 2017

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