New memory storage devices on horizon with award-winning work

Feb 16, 2006

A University of Houston student's award-winning research in solid state physics may one day provide faster, more efficient access to data, music and movies in such hand-held devices as MP3 players and cellular phones.

A third-year graduate student in physics at UH, Clarina dela Cruz recently captured first prize in the worldwide student competition of the 50th Magnetism and Magnetic Materials Conference. This event annually brings together scientists and engineers from the world over who are interested in recent developments in all branches of fundamental and applied magnetism. The student competition recognizes research excellence at the graduate level, with the winner receiving a $1,000 fellowship and facing stiff competition from such institutions as the University of Nijmegen (Netherlands), Stanford University and Johns Hopkins University.

"I considered it a major achievement simply to be chosen as one of the five finalists," dela Cruz said. "I did not expect to win the competition because of the strength of my competitors who attend very prestigious universities."

Working under the supervision of Paul C.W. Chu, the TLL Temple Chair of Science, physics professor and founding director of the Texas Center for Superconductivity at the University of Houston (TcSUH), dela Cruz began her own research on the magneto-electric effects in multiferroic compounds after joining Chu's High-Pressure Low-Temperature Group at TcSUH in January 2004. These new materials bear the potential for the future development of a new type of memory storage device and eventually may be found in any computer as a magneto-electric hard drive or for speeding up hand-held devices.

"Clarina is a highly motivated, bright student with an unusual experimental skill," Chu said. "This honor is a reflection of her dedication and hard work. In a very short period of time after joining our group, she has developed a high precision technique under the guidance of Professor Bernd Lorenz and obtained data that others cannot in the exciting emerging subfield of solid state physics – multiferroics. She can be very proud of her achievement."

As a student of Lorenz, the TcSUH research associate professor under whom dela Cruz is working, her understanding of solid state physics deepened significantly, and her interests quickly spread from superconductivity to magnetism and ferroelectricity – some of the most fundamental phenomena in condensed matter physics.

"The magneto-electric interaction present in these materials allows for a change of the electric polarization by an external magnetic field or the control of the magnetization using electric fields," said Lorenz. "This cross correlation of magnetic and electric properties provides the physical basis for future new developments in memory storage. In magneto-electric memory, media bytes will be written by magnetic write heads, as realized in any standard hard drive, but the stored information can be read electrically by detecting the subtle changes of the electric polarization induced in the magnetic write process."

Source: University of Houston

Explore further: New filter could advance terahertz data transmission

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Acting 'out of character' in the workplace

Feb 20, 2015

Look around your workplace – and ask yourself which colleagues you'd describe as extravert and which as introvert. Perhaps your most talkative workmate is actually an introvert? Research by Sanna Balsari-Palsule, ...

Team develops web tool to speed data collection

Feb 20, 2015

By 2030, one in five Americans will be age 65 or older. To understand the role neighborhoods play in seniors' ability to 'age in place'—living safely and independently in one's home of choice rather than ...

Researchers build atomically thin gas and chemical sensors

Feb 19, 2015

The relatively recent discovery of graphene, a two-dimensional layered material with unusual and attractive electronic, optical and thermal properties, led scientists to search for other atomically thin materials ...

Evolving a bigger brain with human DNA

Feb 19, 2015

The size of the human brain expanded dramatically during the course of evolution, imparting us with unique capabilities to use abstract language and do complex math. But how did the human brain get larger ...

Recommended for you

New filter could advance terahertz data transmission

Feb 27, 2015

University of Utah engineers have discovered a new approach for designing filters capable of separating different frequencies in the terahertz spectrum, the next generation of communications bandwidth that ...

The super-resolution revolution

Feb 27, 2015

Cambridge scientists are part of a resolution revolution. Building powerful instruments that shatter the physical limits of optical microscopy, they are beginning to watch molecular processes as they happen, ...

Precision gas sensor could fit on a chip

Feb 27, 2015

Using their expertise in silicon optics, Cornell engineers have miniaturized a light source in the elusive mid-infrared (mid-IR) spectrum, effectively squeezing the capabilities of a large, tabletop laser onto a 1-millimeter ...

A new X-ray microscope for nanoscale imaging

Feb 27, 2015

Delivering the capability to image nanostructures and chemical reactions down to nanometer resolution requires a new class of x-ray microscope that can perform precision microscopy experiments using ultra-bright ...

New research signals big future for quantum radar

Feb 26, 2015

A prototype quantum radar that has the potential to detect objects which are invisible to conventional systems has been developed by an international research team led by a quantum information scientist at the University ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.