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Researchers control tiny magnetic states within ultrathin, 2D van der Waals magnets

Researchers at the University of Wyoming, Pennsylvania State University, Northeastern University, The University of Texas at Austin, Colorado State University and Japan's National Institute for Materials Science have developed a method to control tiny magnetic states within ultrathin, two-dimensional van der Waals magnets - a process similar to how flipping a light switch controls a bulb.

The team developed a device known as a magnetic tunnel junction, which uses chromium triiodide - a 2D insulating magnet only a few atoms thick - sandwiched between two layers of graphene. By sending a tiny electric current called a tunneling current through this sandwich, the direction of the magnet's orientation of the magnetic domains (around 100 nanometers in size) can be dictated within the individual chromium triiodide layers.

Read the full story Posted: May 15,2024

Researchers use heat to drive topological spin texture transformations

Researchers at Japan's RIKEN have conducted an experiment that could help the development of new energy-efficient spintronics devices. They used heat and magnetic fields to create transformations between spin textures—magnetic vortices and antivortices known as skyrmions and antiskyrmions—in a single crystal thin plate device. What's even more important is that they achieved this at room temperature.

Skyrmions and antiskyrmions, which are textures that exist within special magnetic materials involving the spin of the electrons in the material, are an active area of research, as they could be used for next-generation memory devices, for example, with skyrmions acting as a "1" bit and antiskyrmions a "0" bit. In the past, scientists have been able to move them in a variety of ways, and to create transformations between them using electric current. However, because current electronic devices consume electrical power and produce waste heat, the researchers in the group, led by Xiuzhen Yu at the RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science, decided to see if they could find a way to create the transformations using heat gradients.

Read the full story Posted: Jan 13,2024

Researchers observe and control spin waves in magnets with superconductors

Scientists at Delft University of Technology have used superconducting diamagnetism to shape the magnetic environment governing the transport of spin waves—collective spin excitations in magnets that are promising on-chip signal carriers—in a thin-film magnet. 

The team has shown that it’s possible to control and manipulate spin waves on a chip using superconductors for the first time. These tiny waves in magnets may offer an alternative to electronics in the future, interesting for energy-efficient information technology or connecting pieces in a quantum computer, for example. The results of this work give scientists new insight into the interaction between magnets and superconductors.

Read the full story Posted: Oct 28,2023

Researchers detect pair density wave state in UTe2

Scientists at Cornell University, Washington University in St. Louis and University of Maryland have revealed a new phase of matter in candidate topological superconductors that could have significant consequences for condensed matter physics and for the field of quantum computing and spintronics.

The researchers discovered and visualized a crystalline yet superconducting state in a new and unusual superconductor, Uranium Ditelluride (UTe2), using one of the world’s most powerful millikelvin Scanned Josephson Tunnelling Microscopes (SJTM). This “spin-triplet electron-pair crystal” is a previously unknown state of topological quantum matter.

Read the full story Posted: Jul 10,2023

Researchers develop way to use perovskite materials and light to control electron spins

Researchers from Cambridge University in the UK, Korea's DGIST and Harvard University in the U.S have shown that electron spins could become more efficient and easier to manage through a light-based approach using halide perovskite semiconductors. The team observed ultrafast spin-domain formation in polycrystalline halide perovskite thin films in response to irradiating the films with circularly polarized light at room temperature.

Photoinduced spin-charge interconversion in semiconductors, with spin-orbit coupling, could provide a route to spintronics that does not require external magnetic fields, which tend to be challenging to control. An electron can have two spin states, up or down, and these states can be used to store and process information. But manipulating spin states can be tricky, requiring the use of magnetic fields on perfectly ordered materials at extremely low temperatures to work.

Read the full story Posted: Jul 06,2023

Researchers report non-volatile electric control of magnetic and topological properties of MnBi2Te4 thin films

Researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have proposed a mechanism to control the magnetic properties of topological quantum material (TQM) by using magnetoelectric coupling: a mechanism that uses a heterostructure of TQM with two-dimensional (2D) ferroelectric material, which can dynamically control the magnetic order by changing the polarization of the ferroelectric material and induce possible topological phase transitions. 

The novel concept was demonstrated using the example of the bilayer MnBi2Te4 on ferroelectric In2Se3 or In2Te3, where the polarization direction of the 2D ferroelectrics determines the interfacial band alignment and consequently the direction of the charge transfer. This charge transfer, in turn, enhances the stability of the ferromagnetic state of MnBi2Te4 and leads to a possible topological phase transition between the quantum anomalous Hall (QAH) effect and the zero plateau QAH.

Read the full story Posted: Jun 23,2023

Teaching an old equation new tricks - researchers open new avenues for the interaction of optical beams with spins and magnetic moments

Researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel have made a recent discovery that could change the face of spintronics research.

A spintronics device developed by Professor Capua's lab

They discovered that the most important equation used to describe magnetization dynamics, namely the Landau-Lifshitz-Gilbert (LLG) equation, also applies to the optical domain. Consequently, they found that the helicity-dependent optical control of the magnetization state emerges naturally from their calculations. This is a very surprising result since the LLG equation was considered to describe much slower dynamics and it was not expected to yield a meaningful outcome also at the optical limit.

Read the full story Posted: Jun 22,2023

A new tool at BESSY II for chirality investigations is demonstrated by HZB and TUM researchers

A new instrument called ALICE II is available at BESSY II, that allows magnetic X-ray scattering in reciprocal space using a new large area detector. Recntly, researchers from HZB and Technical University Munich demonstrated the performance of ALICE II by analyzing helical and conical magnetic states of an archetypal single crystal skyrmion host.

The new instrument was conceived and constructed by HZB physicist Dr. Florin Radu and the technical design department at HZB in close cooperation with Prof. Christian Back from the Technical University Munich and his technical support. It is now available for guest users at BESSY II as well.

Read the full story Posted: Oct 26,2022

Researchers gain new insights into the interaction of topological insulators

An international team of researchers has succeeded in understanding, for the first time, how the topological properties of multilayer systems of Tungsten di-telluride (WTe2) can be changed systematically by means of scanning tunneling microscopy.

WTe2 has been found to be a promising material for the realization of topological states, which are regarded as the key to novel spintronics devices and quantum computers of the future due to their unique electronic properties. 

Read the full story Posted: Aug 26,2022

Researchers spot spin swapping in an antiferromagnet

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University, University of Texas at Austin, Northeastern University and Argonne National Laboratory have reported a new quantum phenomenon in antiferromagnetic insulators that could open the door to new ways of powering  spintronic devices.

Antiferromagnetic insulators are advantageous in spintronic applications because of their low stray fields and rapid magnetic dynamics. Controlling their magnetization and reading their magnetic state is critical for these applications, but they are challenging.

Read the full story Posted: May 23,2022