|Posted: Sep 17, 2015|
Designing switchable electric and magnetic order for low-energy computing(Nanowerk News) Scientists at the University of Liverpool have developed a new material that combines both electrical and magnetic order at room temperature, using a design approach which may enable the development of low-energy computer memory technologies ("Designing switchable polarization and magnetization at room temperature in an oxide").
|Researchers from the University's School of Physical Sciences achieved this scientific advance by designed control of the distribution of the atoms within the solid state.|
|This new material has implications for information storage and processing applications.|
|Information can be stored in computers in two distinct ways - one relies on the order of atomic-scale magnets in a solid material, the other of atomic-scale electrical charges.|
|Both storing and manipulating this information costs energy, and with the rapid growth of the internet and internet-enabled devices, there is a strong need for lower-energy approaches to this.|
|In the first case, writing the information is energy-intensive whilst in the latter it is reading that is energy-intensive.|
|Liverpool Materials Chemist, Professor Matthew Rosseinsky, said: "Materials with both electrical and magnetic order at room temperature have been hard to engineer because these two properties often have competing requirements.|
|"We report a new design approach that promises to allow the synthesis and tuning of families of these materials, which are important in the development of low-energy computer memory technologies."|
|To make a single material that has these two distinct properties - magnetisation and electrical polarisation - is difficult because the electronic requirements for obtaining them in a material are typically contradictory: materials characteristics, such as the crystal structure or the atomic composition, which favour polarisation often disfavour magnetisation. The new design approach overcomes these difficulties.|
|Source: University of Liverpool|
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