24/7 Space News
Magnetization by laser pulse
If a strong laser pulse hits an iron alloy, the material melts briefly at the irradiated point and a tiny magnetic area forms.
Magnetization by laser pulse
by Robert Schreiber
Dresden, Germany (SPX) Dec 08, 2023

In the world of materials science, discoveries that challenge established norms often lead to groundbreaking innovations. Such is the case with a fascinating development involving laser-induced magnetization, a technique that was initially uncovered in 2018 by researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR). In a recent collaboration with the Laserinstitut Hochschule Mittweida (LHM), this method has been further explored, revealing its potential to revolutionize various industries. This article delves into the details of this discovery and its implications.

The Unexpected Discovery
In 2018, scientists at HZDR made a startling observation. They found that by subjecting a thin layer of an iron-aluminum alloy to ultrashort laser pulses, the material, which was previously non-magnetic, transformed into a magnet. This intriguing phenomenon occurred because the laser pulses triggered a rearrangement of the atoms within the crystal lattice, causing the iron atoms to move closer together. Subsequently, these atoms formed a magnet. Remarkably, the researchers could reverse this magnetization by employing a series of weaker laser pulses, allowing them to create and erase minuscule "magnetic spots" on the material's surface.

Expanding the Horizons
While the initial discovery was remarkable, it raised essential questions. Researchers were keen to determine whether this effect was exclusive to the iron-aluminum alloy or if it could be replicated in other materials. Additionally, they sought to understand the temporal dynamics of the process. To investigate further, Dr. Rantej Bali from HZDR joined forces with Dr. Theo Pflug from LHM and collaborators from the University of Zaragoza in Spain.

Their focus turned to an iron-vanadium alloy, characterized by a disordered, amorphous atomic structure unlike the regular crystal lattice of the iron-aluminum compound. Employing a special technique called the pump-probe method, they irradiated the alloy with a powerful laser pulse to magnetize it while simultaneously using a weaker pulse that was reflected on the material's surface.

The analysis of the reflected laser pulse provided insights into the material's physical properties, creating a time series of data that illuminated the processes initiated by laser excitation. Dr. Pflug likened the process to "generating a flip book," with a series of individual images revealing the sequence of events.

Surprising Results
The outcome was astonishing. Despite having a fundamentally different atomic structure from the iron-aluminum alloy, the iron-vanadium alloy exhibited laser-induced magnetization. In both cases, the material experienced brief melting at the irradiation point, causing the laser to erase the previous atomic arrangement and create a small magnetic area. This revelation suggests that the phenomenon is not confined to specific material structures but can manifest in diverse atomic configurations.

Furthermore, researchers were able to discern the temporal dynamics of the process. Within femtoseconds, the laser pulse excited the electrons in the material. A few picoseconds later, the excited electrons transferred their energy to the atomic nuclei, leading to the rearrangement into a stable magnetic structure, which was further solidified by rapid cooling. This understanding opens up possibilities for observing the exact atomic rearrangement through intense X-ray experiments in future research.

Applications on the Horizon
While these findings are still in their infancy, they offer promising avenues for practical applications. One potential application is the precise placement of tiny magnets on a chip's surface using lasers. This technology could prove invaluable in the production of sensitive magnetic sensors, such as those used in vehicles, or magnetic data storage.

Moreover, the discovery holds significance for the emerging field of spintronics, where magnetic signals replace electrons in digital computing processes. This development could potentially reshape the landscape of future computer technology.

Research Report:Laser-Induced Positional and Chemical Lattice Reordering Generating Ferromagnetism

Related Links
Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters

The following news reports may link to other Space Media Network websites.
NASA's Deep Space Optical Comm Demo Sends, Receives First Data
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Nov 17, 2023
In a landmark achievement, NASA's Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC) experiment has successfully conducted its 'first light' test, sending and receiving data via laser from a distance unprecedented in the history of space exploration. This feat marks a significant step in transforming how spacecraft communicate across the vast expanse of space. Positioned nearly 10 million miles away from Earth, approximately 40 times the lunar distance, DSOC has transmitted a near-infrared laser encoded wit ... read more

NASA Stennis Achieves Major Milestone for In-Flight Software Mission

Was going to space a good idea

Axiom Space Chooses AWS to Power IT Infrastructure for Commercial Space Station

Chandrayaan-3 Propulsion Module Successfully Transitions from Lunar to Earth Orbit

NASA Teams Prepare Moon Rocket-to-Spacecraft Connector for Assembly

Maritime Launch secures additional funding for Canada's first commercial spaceport

LandSpace's methane-propelled rocket marks another milestone

KAIST Partners with Rocket Lab for NeonSat-1 Launch

NASA's Perseverance Rover Deciphers Ancient History of Martian Lake

MAVEN observes the disappearing solar wind

On The Road Again: Sols 4030-4031

Mapping Mars: Deep Learning Could Help Identify Jezero Crater Landing Site

CAS Space expands into Guangdong with new rocket engine testing complex

China's Lunar Samples on Display in Macao to Inspire Future Explorers

China Manned Space Agency Delegation Highlights SARs' Role in Space Program

Wenchang Set to Become China's Premier Commercial Space Launch Hub by Next Year

USAGM enlists SES Space and Defense for advanced global satellite Broadcasting

Investor Coalition demands leadership overhaul at Terran Orbital amid CEO controversy

Iridium's New GMDSS Academy to Bolster Safety Training for Maritime Professionals

Embry-Riddle's Innovative Mission Control Lab prepares students for booming space sector

Innovative 3D printing technology shapes future of Australian housing

UK criticises dependency on China for rare metals

NASA Laser Reflecting Instruments to Help Pinpoint Earth Measurements

Closing the design-to-manufacturing gap for optical devices

Researchers Develop Advanced Algorithm Pandora for Exomoon Hunt

Digging Deeper to Find Life on Ocean Worlds

Ice's crucial role in planet and comet formation mapped by Webb

Ariel moves from drawing board to construction phase

Unwrapping Uranus and its icy moon secrets

Juice burns hard towards first-ever Earth-Moon flyby

Fall into an ice giant's atmosphere

Juno finds Jupiter's winds penetrate in cylindrical layers

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2023 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.