Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > New NIST microscope measures nanomagnet property vital to 'spintronics'

Abstract:
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a new microscope able to view and measure an important but elusive property of the nanoscale magnets used in an advanced, experimental form of digital memory. The new instrument already has demonstrated its utility with initial results that suggest how to limit power consumption in future computer memories.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Animation of spin waves excited by a transient magnetic field pulse in a nanomagnet, as simulated with NIST micromagnetics software (Object Oriented MicroMagnetic Framework, or OOMMF).

Credit: Boone/NIST

New NIST microscope measures nanomagnet property vital to 'spintronics'

Boulder, CO | Posted on March 15th, 2013

NIST's heterodyne magneto-optic microwave microscope, or H-MOMM, can measure collective dynamics of the electrons' spins—the basic phenomenon behind magnetism—in individual magnets as small as 100 nanometers in diameter. Nanomagnets are central components of low-power, high-speed "spintronic" computer memory, which might soon replace conventional random-access memory. Spintronics relies on electrons behaving like bar magnets, pointing in different directions to manipulate and store data, whereas conventional electronics rely on charge.

"The measurement technique is entirely novel, the capability that it has enabled is unprecedented, and the scientific results are groundbreaking," project leader Tom Silva says.

As described in a new paper,* NIST researchers used the H-MOMM to quantify, for the first time, the spin relaxation process—or damping—in individual nanomagnets. Spin relaxation is related to how much energy is required to switch a unit of spintronic memory between a 0 and a 1 (the bits used to represent data).

The nanomagnets used in experimental spintronic systems are too big to yield their secrets to conventional atomic physics tools yet too small for techniques used with bulk materials. Until now, researchers have been forced to measure the average damping from groups of nanomagnets. The new microscope enabled NIST researchers to study, in detail, the ups and downs of spin excitation in individual magnets made of a layer of a nickel-iron alloy on a sapphire base.

The H-MOMM combines optical and microwave techniques. Two green laser beams are merged to generate microwaves, which excite "spin waves"—magnetic oscillations that vary with position across an individual nanomagnet, like waves in a bathtub. Polarized light from one laser is used to analyze the excitation pattern. By measuring excitation as a function of magnetic field and microwave frequency, researchers can deduce the damping of various spin waves in each nanomagnet.

Measurement and control of magnetic damping is crucial for spintronics, because the smaller the damping, the less energy is required to store a bit of data, and the less power a device requires to operate. The NIST study suggests that designing spintronic devices to have uniform spin waves could dramatically reduce the energy required to write a bit.

The new microscope is one outcome of an ongoing NIST effort to develop methods for measuring defects in magnetic nanostructures. At extremely small scales, defects dominate and can disrupt magnetic device behavior, resulting in errors in reading and writing information.

####

About National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Laura Ost

303-497-4880

Copyright © National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

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

* H.T. Nembach, J.M. Shaw, C.T. Boone and T.J. Silva. Mode- and size-dependent Landau-Lifshitz damping in magnetic nanostructures: Evidence for non-local damping. Physical Review Letters. 110, 117201. Published March 12, 2013.

Related News Press

News and information

Particles from outer space are wreaking low-grade havoc on personal electronics February 19th, 2017

Liquid metal nano printing set to revolutionize electronics: Creating integrated circuits just atoms thick February 18th, 2017

Engineers shrink microscope to dime-sized device February 17th, 2017

Francis Alexander Named Deputy Director of Brookhaven Lab's Computational Science Initiative February 16th, 2017

Research opens door to smaller, cheaper, more agile communications tech February 16th, 2017

Imaging

Engineers shrink microscope to dime-sized device February 17th, 2017

Direct radiolabeling of nanomaterials: Directly radiolabeled nanographene materials without chelators are suitable for bioimaging applications February 9th, 2017

New method improves accuracy of imaging systems February 8th, 2017

Laboratories

Francis Alexander Named Deputy Director of Brookhaven Lab's Computational Science Initiative February 16th, 2017

NREL research pinpoints promise of polycrystalline perovskites February 8th, 2017

Videos/Movies

Graphene foam gets big and tough: Rice University's nanotube-reinforced material can be shaped, is highly conductive February 13th, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Engineers shrink microscope to dime-sized device February 17th, 2017

Francis Alexander Named Deputy Director of Brookhaven Lab's Computational Science Initiative February 16th, 2017

Good vibrations help reveal molecular details: Rice University scientists combine disciplines to pinpoint small structures in unlabeled molecules February 15th, 2017

Research reveals novel quantum state in strange insulating materials February 14th, 2017

Spintronics

First experimental proof of a 70 year old physics theory: First observation of magnetic phase transition in 2-D materials, as predicted by the Nobel winner Onsager in 1943 January 6th, 2017

Investigations of the skyrmion Hall effect reveal surprising results: One step further towards the application of skyrmions in spintronic devices December 28th, 2016

Electron highway inside crystal December 12th, 2016

Making spintronic neurons sing in unison November 18th, 2016

Discoveries

Particles from outer space are wreaking low-grade havoc on personal electronics February 19th, 2017

Liquid metal nano printing set to revolutionize electronics: Creating integrated circuits just atoms thick February 18th, 2017

Engineers shrink microscope to dime-sized device February 17th, 2017

Research opens door to smaller, cheaper, more agile communications tech February 16th, 2017

Announcements

Particles from outer space are wreaking low-grade havoc on personal electronics February 19th, 2017

Liquid metal nano printing set to revolutionize electronics: Creating integrated circuits just atoms thick February 18th, 2017

Engineers shrink microscope to dime-sized device February 17th, 2017

Francis Alexander Named Deputy Director of Brookhaven Lab's Computational Science Initiative February 16th, 2017

Tools

Engineers shrink microscope to dime-sized device February 17th, 2017

Metamaterial: Mail armor inspires physicists: KIT researchers reverse hall coefficient -- medieval mail armor inspired development of metamaterial with novel properties February 15th, 2017

Cedars-Sinai, UCLA Scientists Use New ‘Blood Biopsies’ With Experimental Device to Speed Cancer Diagnosis and Predict Disease Spread: Leading-Edge Research Is Part of National Cancer Moonshot Initiative February 13th, 2017

Meta-lenses bring benchtop performance to small, hand-held spectrometer: Game-changing nanostructure-based lenses allow smaller devices, increased functionality February 9th, 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