by Staff Writers
Berlin, Germany (SPX) Oct 31, 2016
The new materials system consists of regular arrays of superconducting YBaCuO-dots covered with an extremely thin permalloy film. A shortly applied external magnetic field leads to the creation of supercurrents within the superconducting dots. These currents produce a complex magnetic field pattern, which is inscribed into the permalloy film above. The results are published in Advanced Science.
Magnetic patterns such as monopoles or skyrmions (stable vortices) are promising options for fast and energy efficient data storage. However obtaining and manipulating such magnetic structures is not easy. Now, Dr. Sergio Valencia and his colleagues at HZB, in collaboration with the materials science institute of Barcelona, have discovered an interesting new materials system which could do the trick.
The samples consisted of regular arrays of superconducting YBaCuO-dots, approximately 20 micrometer in diameter and coming in different geometries. Valencia and his team covered these microstructures with an extremely thin film of ferromagnetic iron-nickel-alloy, a so called permalloy.
Complex magnetic patterns
This external field, not enough to reorient the magnetic domains of permalloy, lead to the creation of a so-called supercurrent within the superconducting dots. Such superconducting currents do persist even after the removal of the external magnetic field and produce themselves a complex magnetic field pattern.
Mapping at BESSY II
Monopoles and skyrmions
"I am quite optimistic that it is possible to miniaturise such patterns to facilitate their implementation in magnetic memories, for example. What is more, we even have some ideas on how to stabilise such magnetic structures at room temperature", Valencia says.
Research paper: "Encoding Magnetic States in Monopole-Like Configurations Using Superconducting Dots" is published in Advanced Science, Open Access.
Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin fur Materialien und Energie
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