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21/07/2017: Pulses of electrons manipulate nanomagnets and store information

Magnets and magnetic phenomena underpin the vast majority of modern data storage, and the measurement scales for research focused on magnetic behaviors continue to shrink with the rest of digital technology. Skyrmions, for example, are a kind of nanomagnet, comprised of a spin-correlated ensemble of electrons acting as a topological magnet on certain microscopic surfaces. The precise properties, like spin orientation, of such nanomagnets can store information. But how might you go about moving or manipulating these nanomagnets at will to store the data you want?

New research from a German-U.S. collaboration now demonstrates such read/write ability using bursts of electrons, encoding topological energy structures robustly enough for potential data storage applications.

"The work shows how magnetization of nanoscale magnets can be steered by intense ultrashort electron pulses," said Alexander Schäffer, a doctoral student at Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg in Halle, Germany, and lead author of the paper. "Experiments at SLAC already demonstrated the ultimate speed limit of magnetic switching with this scheme. Here we show that tailored electron pulses can swiftly write, erase or switch topologically protected magnetic textures such as skyrmions."

28/03/2017: SFB 762 scientist receives young investigator award of the German Physical Society

For his research on oxide quasi-crystals, physicist Dr. Stefan Förster has received the "Gerhard Ertl Young Investigator Award" at the Spring Conference of the German Physical Society (DPG), the world's largest physics society. The award is endowed with 3,000 euros and is awarded annually to outstanding young scientists in the area of surface physics.