Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Magnetic Memory Manipulated by Voltage, Not Just Heat

By - Source: Eurekalert | B 15 comments

Scientists at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China may have discovered a big puzzle piece in the overall search for much more power-efficient data storage devices.

Magnetic memory devices that are controlled by voltage and not by heat have been researched for decades, but research earlier this year showed that the coercive force of magnetic materials is controlled by heat and not by voltage.

The Chinese scientists now claim that those research results were wrong and that coercivity can be controlled by voltage. Coercivity is the intensity of a magnetic field that is necessary to demagnetize a magnet when it is fully magnetized.

The hope of the storage industry is that using voltage-induced magnet control will lead the path to storage technologies that use much less power than the products we know today.

The scientists said that they explored coercivities in three structures that are "commonly used in magnetic memory experiments" and discovered that heat is not at all responsible for the changes of a magnet's coercivity, but voltage is. Without providing details publicly, the Journal of Applied Physics, which published their paper, said that their results show that voltage is directly controlling changes in the magnetic properties of all three of the tested materials. "For example, the researchers demonstrate that the effect can be turned on and off almost instantaneously, whereas the changes should lag if heat is the cause."

There was no information what further research is necessary and how quickly the findings could result in actual new technologies and new products.

Display 15 Comments.
This thread is closed for comments
  • 6 Hide
    Pyree , September 1, 2011 10:29 AM
    I am going to log on to my university's library and have a look at that journal.
  • 8 Hide
    Pyree , September 1, 2011 10:33 AM
    To make it easier for those interested, I linked the journal here.

    http://jap.aip.org/resource/1/japiau/v110/i4/p043919_s1?isAuthorized=no
  • 0 Hide
    amigafan , September 1, 2011 10:38 AM
    "almost instantaneously"? Well that's not instantaneous enough for computing performance expected today :|

    However if it uses less power than SRAM it will surely find it's purpose.
  • 1 Hide
    Pyree , September 1, 2011 10:49 AM
    No, I don't see it saying almost instantaneously in the journal.

    "The increasing voltage leads to more and more obvious change of Hc, but after switching-off the voltages each time, the DHc goes back to around zero instantaneously" (Wang et al. 2011)

  • -1 Hide
    amigafan , September 1, 2011 1:00 PM
    PyreeNo, I don't see it saying almost instantaneously in the journal."The increasing voltage leads to more and more obvious change of Hc, but after switching-off the voltages each time, the DHc goes back to around zero instantaneously" (Wang et al. 2011)

    "For example, the researchers demonstrate that the effect can be turned on and off almost instantaneously, whereas the changes should lag if heat is the cause."
  • 1 Hide
    ik242 , September 1, 2011 1:08 PM
    @amigafan, that was sentence from the this page article, written by THG journalist not by researchers.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 1, 2011 2:26 PM
    The key to perpetual motion is here... now if we can just figure out displacement in order to bypass inertia, then off to Xanadu we go =)
  • 1 Hide
    halls , September 1, 2011 2:33 PM
    Props to you Pyree for looking up and linking to the article.
  • 0 Hide
    Parsian , September 1, 2011 3:06 PM
    Oh man, I am so happy to be an Applied Physics undergrad :p 
  • 0 Hide
    noblerabbit , September 1, 2011 4:03 PM
    I wonder what the next ASUS chinese marketing slogans will be brought to the table with this. Either way, here is hoping to affordable 20TB storage by the end of next 2 or so years.
  • -1 Hide
    kajohn10 , September 1, 2011 5:20 PM
    Wait...they just figured this out? Are you kidding? Applying a voltage induces a current which will produce a magnetic field. Hmmm, wonder if I can apply this most SIMPLE and BASIC physics model to force something into a desired state...

    OK, so the journal article is much more detailed and applies to specific materials and substrates...but this shouldn't come as a surprising find.
  • 1 Hide
    doron , September 1, 2011 6:26 PM
    kajohn10Wait...they just figured this out? Are you kidding? Applying a voltage induces a current which will produce a magnetic field. Hmmm, wonder if I can apply this most SIMPLE and BASIC physics model to force something into a desired state...OK, so the journal article is much more detailed and applies to specific materials and substrates...but this shouldn't come as a surprising find.


    If it's so easy why won't you show them how it's done.
  • 0 Hide
    jacobdrj , September 1, 2011 9:08 PM
    ParsianOh man, I am so happy to be an Applied Physics undergrad


    Applied Physics... Engineering?
  • 0 Hide
    mlopinto2k1 , September 1, 2011 11:19 PM
    Does anyone know where I can find a battering ram? Wait, wrong article.
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , September 2, 2011 12:01 AM
    noblerabbitI wonder what the next ASUS chinese marketing slogans will be brought to the table with this.


    Hint: ASUS is Taiwanese ;)