Professor of theoretical physics Maxim Mostovoy, working at the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials at the University of Groningen, has published paper in the magazine Nature Materials on 1 December, his second in a little more than a month. His work helped in the development of a technique to visualize the so called magnetoelectric effect in fine detail.
The magnetoelectric effect combines magnetic and electrical properties of a material, which allows you to induce magnetic polarization using an electric field, and thus create a magnetic bit. Ordinary hard drives use electric current to generate magnetic bit, which is much less energy efficient.
‘The magnetoelectric effect has been predicted in the 1950ies and was first observed in 1960’, says Mostovoy. On 27 October, he published a paper in Nature Materials describing the magnetoelectric properties of hexagonal manganites.
This material is made up of small domains, and all these domains can have different magnetic polarization. ‘But so far, we could only study the properties of the bulk material, not those of the individual domains.’ The new article, for which Mostovoy provided the theoretical explanation for the measurements, his American colleagues of Rutgers University and Cornell University show how to study individual domains.
The new technique will stimulate the development of magnetoelectric materials that can serve to build more energy efficient memory storage. Mostovoy: ‘With this technique, we can now study the properties of existing and new magnetoelectric materials.’
Contact: Prof. Maxim Mostovoy
Direct visualization of magnetoelectric domains
Yanan Geng, Hena Das, Aleksander L. Wysocki, Xueyun Wang, S-W. Cheong, M. Mostovoy, Craig J. Fennie & Weida Wu.
Nature Materials (2013). DOI:10.1038/nmat3813
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