Researchers develop new method of controlling nanodevices

Feb 25, 2013 by Bill Kisliuk
Researchers develop new method of controlling nanodevices

(Phys.org)—Electromagnetic devices, from power drills to smart-phones, require an electric current to create the magnetic fields that allow them to function. But with smaller devices, efficiently delivering a current to create magnetic fields becomes more difficult.

In a discovery that could lead to big changes in storing digital information and powering motors in small hand-held devices, researchers at UCLA have developed a method for switching tiny magnetic fields on and off with an electric field—a sharp departure from the traditional approach of running a current through a wire.

The researchers, affiliated with the university's National Science Foundation–funded TANMS (Translational Applications of Nanoscale Multiferroic Systems), developed a composite that can control magneto-electric activity at a scale of about 10 nanometers, some 1,000 times smaller than a . Previously, the instability of at this scale made it impossible to control their movement, much less the energy reaching them.
 
The team used a composite of nickel nanocrystals coupled with a single crystal of —which can generate power when a small amount of force is applied to it—to control the north–south orientation of the particles as well as their tendency to spin around, which are essential aspects of activating or deactivating a magnetic field.

The findings could potentially change the way electromagnetic devices are designed in the future. With further research, the team said, the discovery may allow significant miniaturization of equipment ranging from memory devices and antennas to instruments used to analyze blood. The researchers noted that while their findings represent a major scientific step, practical applications of the discovery are likely years away.

The research was published online Feb. 11 in the peer-reviewed journal (http://bit.ly/W8zhxd) and will appear in an upcoming print edition of the journal.

Explore further: A crystal wedding in the nanocosmos

More information: Magnetoelectric Control of Superparamagnetism, Nano Lett., Article ASAP. DOI: 10.1021/nl3034637

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Research paper on magnetic control makes the top 10

Nov 30, 2010

A study of the electric field control of magnetism led by a Northeastern engineering professor was named one of the top 10 papers of the past decade by the prestigious journal Advanced Functional Materials.

Multiferroics could lead to low-power devices

May 17, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Magnetic materials in which the north and south poles can be reversed with an electric field may be ideal candidates for low-power electronic devices, such as those used for ultra-high data storage. But finding ...

Powerful new way to control magnetism

Aug 23, 2010

A team of scientists at Rutgers University has found a material in which an electric field can control the overall magnetic properties of the material. If the magnetoelectric effect discovered by the Rutgers group can be ...

Data storage: Electrically enhanced recall

Dec 05, 2012

Random-access memory (RAM) is a fast electronic device used in computers to temporarily store data. Traditional RAM is based on the flow of electrical current for data processing. To make RAM faster, more ...

Recommended for you

A crystal wedding in the nanocosmos

12 hours ago

Researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), the Vienna University of Technology and the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University Lublin have succeeded in embedding nearly perfect semiconductor ...

PPPL studies plasma's role in synthesizing nanoparticles

Jul 22, 2014

DOE's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) has received some $4.3 million of DOE Office of Science funding, over three years, to develop an increased understanding of the role of plasma in the synthesis ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

vacuum-mechanics
1 / 5 (1) Feb 26, 2013
(Phys.org)—Electromagnetic devices, from power drills to smart-phones, require an electric current to create the magnetic fields that allow them to function. But with smaller devices, efficiently delivering a current to create magnetic fields becomes more difficult.

Believe it or not! It seems that we are so familiar with electric and magnetic fields, but actually we do not know what they are, how electron create them and so on. Knowing the mechanism of electron will make us understand nature of electric and magnetic fields as below.
http://www.vacuum...21〈=en