Scientists are developing technology that can reduce the power consumption of magnetic storage devices and dramatically improve their performance. The new method uses a combination of spintronic and photonic materials in which ultrashort laser pulses generate intense magnetic fields to control the orientation of the spins.
Data centers store huge amounts of information on magnetic storage devices that consume billions of kilowatts of energy annually. However, researchers at Purdue University are working on faster ways to optically switch magnetization in memory devices that will also improve economic performance..
The new technology is based on the ejection of a plurality of plasmons when light strikes a nanoscale material that can support electron waves. These plasmons generate intense ultrashort magnetic fields at the interface between properly selected optical and magnetic materials..
When the properties of the incident light change, the direction of the resulting magnetic field is reversed, which makes it possible to manipulate the magnetic orientation in the material..
The method involves using the power of optics using localized surface plasmon resonances to interact with light with nanomagnets and accelerate the switching of spintronic devices, as well as potentially reduce the energy intensity of the process..
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Ultimately, the new method could increase the speed of writing data by 1000 times, according to scientists, but this will require the development of materials with higher interaction efficiency..
Other research teams are simultaneously improving quantum and molecular storage systems.
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: Purdue University, numerama