University researchers have discovered a breakthrough magnetic phenomenon that will improve technological production. The researchers: "The discovery could change the next generation of nanoelectronic devices with reduced power consumption and faster capabilities"
The human eye is unable to see magnetic fields, but they affect many phenomena in our lives, from the northern lights and bird migration to technological uses such as credit cards. A new study conducted by Dr. Yonatan Anhouri and PhD student Aviya Noach from the Rakah Institute of Physics at the university, He found a unique magnetic phenomenon, in which thin materials with individual atomic layers retain their magnetism within ten nanometers of the edge of the material (a human hair is 10,000 times thicker), while the interior loses its magnetic memory. The research and its findings are part of the effort to produce faster technologies that consume less energy compared to technologies based on the electrical properties of the material that are common today. The unique phenomenon has already been named "edge magnetism" and the findings were recently published in the prestigious journal Nano Letters.
First, the intention of the research was to examine an interaction between magnetic material and superconducting materials, which repel magnetic fields. But, following the discovery of the "edge magnetism" phenomenon, the direction of the research changed. "After weeks of measurements, we discovered that the magnetism does not behave as we expected and from checking the scientific literature, no one else expected either. We decided to change the direction of the research and chose to characterize the magnet itself - to check in which situations it maintains magnetism", shares Dr. Anhauri. The magnetic images were produced with the help of a new type of magnetic microscope based on quantum technology that was developed in Israel, and is capable of measuring the magnetic field of a single electron. The research was done in joint work with colleagues from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in Spain, the University of Colorado in the USA and researchers from the Hebrew University.
The new discovery makes it possible to create magnetic channels with a thickness of a few nanometers. The researchers explain that through various industrialization methods it is possible to produce patterns from the nanometric material and control which part of it will be magnetic. This effect, despite its small size, can have extensive applications in our daily lives. PhD student Noah says that "In the technological race to make every component smaller and more energy efficient, tiny magnetization can be used for memories on a smaller scale or as a component within a computing device based on quantum technology."
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