Writing, accessing data made easy with new material

Materials whose magnetic properties can be quickly and easily manipulated in order to write and access data on them are needed.

By: IANS | London | Published:November 27, 2016 2:03 pm
hard drive, next gen hard drive, data, writing data, data storage, perovskite material, gadgets, technology, technology news Single crystals of the perovskite developed in this study; on the right a diagram showing the melting of the ferromagnetic state. (Source: Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne)

In a first, scientists from Switzerland have developed a new perovskite material with unique magnetic properties that can be used to build next-generation hard drives, making writing and accessing data on them easy. Due to generation of more and more data, storage systems like hard drives with higher density and efficiency are required. To fulfil this requirement, materials whose magnetic properties can be quickly and easily manipulated in order to write and access data on them are needed.

Scientists from Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) have now developed a perovskite material — a calcium titanium oxide mineral composed of calcium titanate — whose magnetic order can be rapidly changed without disrupting it due to heating. The work done in this Research institution in Lausanne, Switzerland, has been published in Nature Communications.

Magnetism in material arises from the interactions of localised and moving electrons of the material. By easily modifying magnetic properties, it could of an enormous advantage in many applications such as magnetic data storage. The new material that the scientists developed offers exactly that.

Bálint Náfrádi, project lead, synthesised a ferromagnetic photovoltaic material in a lab. “We have essentially discovered the first magnetic photoconductor,” Bálint Náfrádi said.

This new crystal structure combines the advantages of both ferromagnets, whose magnetic moments are aligned in a well-defined order, and photoconductors, where light illumination generates high density free conduction electrons. “This study provides the basis for the development of a new generation of magneto-optical data storage devices,” Náfrádi pointed out.

These would combine the advantages of magnetic storage — long-term stability, high data density, non-volatile operation and re-writability– with the speed of optical writing and reading, he added.