From STORAGE Magazine Vol 12, Issue 01 - February 2012
SCIENTISTS HAVE COME UP WITH A REVOLUTIONARY NEW WAY OF MAGNETIC RECORDING THAT COULD HAVE PROFOUND CONSEQUENCES FOR THE INDUSTRY
An international team of scientists has demonstrated a revolutionary new way of magnetic recording that will allow information to be processed hundreds of times faster than by current hard drive technology.
The researchers found they could record information using only heat - a previously unimaginable scenario. They believe this discovery will not only make future magnetic recording devices faster, but more energy efficient, too.
The results of the research, which was led by the University of York's Department of Physics, are reported in the February edition of Nature Communications.
Reveals York physicist Thomas Ostler: "Instead of using a magnetic field to record information on a magnetic medium, we harnessed much stronger internal forces and recorded information using only heat. This revolutionary method allows the recording of Terabytes (thousands of Gigabytes) of information per second, hundreds of times faster than present hard drive technology. As there is no need for a magnetic field, there is also less energy consumption." The multinational team of scientists included researchers from Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, Russia, Japan and the Netherlands. Experimental work was carried out at the Paul Scherrer Institut in Switzerland, the Ioffe Physical Technical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands.
Dr Alexey Kimel, from the Institute of Molecules and Materials, Radboud University Nijmegen, adds: "For centuries, it has been believed that heat can only destroy the magnetic order. Now we have successfully demonstrated that it can, in fact, be a sufficient stimulus for recording information on a magnetic medium."
STRONGER INTERNAL FORCES
Ostler began his PhD at the University of York in 2008, after graduating with honours from the same institution. He works very closely with experimental colleagues from a wide range of institutions to provide practical verification and demonstrations of his numerical work.
He specialises in atomistic modelling of transition-metal rare-earth ferrimagnetic materials, in particular looking at the sub pico-second time scale and switching dynamics. Other interests include ferromagnetic resonance and multi-scale modelling.
The paper, 'Ultrafast heating as a sufficient stimulus for magnetization reversal in a ferrimagnet', is published in Nature Communications. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms1666.
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