Creating Denser Magnetic Memory

Jul 07, 2009 by Miranda Marquit weblog

(PhysOrg.com) -- One of the issues afflicting magnetic memory is the fact that it is difficult to store information for as long as 10 years. In order to overcome this problem, scientists and engineers have been looking for a way to increase the density of magnetic grains used for storage, as well as use a material with high magnetic anisotropy energy (MAE). Using cobalt (which has the highest MAE of ferromagnetic elements), a group at the Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research in Dresden, Germany, discovered a way to increase the density of magnetic grains in a data storage device.

In "Co dimers on hexagonal carbon rings proposed as subnanometer magnetic storage bits", Ruijuan Xiao and his colleagues describe a process in which it is possible to reduce the size of magnetic grains of cobalt from 50,000 atoms to 15,000 atoms. The trick, though, is to be able to guaranty that these grains can maintain their closely-packed hexagonal structure, which is key to maintaining cobalt's high MAE -- and its capability for long-term magnetic data storage. Technology Review describes how Xiao and his peers got around this issue:

"What Xiao and co have found is a way to trick cobalt dimers into thinking that they're in a hexagonal close packed structure. Their idea is to attach the dimers to a hexagonal carbon ring such as benzene or . In this scenario, one of the pair of cobalt atoms bonds with the carbon ring, and the magnetic field between the cobalt atoms can be switched by applying a weak magnetic field and a strong electric field."

This way, spontaneous reversal of the occurs more often than every 10 years, and magnetic data storage maintains its integrity longer. Additionally, this memory could be stored in magnetic grains held on Benzene rings only 0.5 nm across. Currently, magnetic storage with cobalt grains are 8 nm across. However, this work is so far theoretical. It has been modeled, but not tested in a real-world situation. If the idea holds up under experimental rigors, then it would mean a new age of long-term memory: More data, for longer periods of time, stored in smaller devices.

© 2009 PhysOrg.com

Explore further: A new multi-bit 'spin' for MRAM storage

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Taking the Stress Out of Magnetic Field Detection

Jan 28, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have discovered that a carefully built magnetic sandwich that interleaves layers of a magnetic alloy with a few nanometers ...

Magnetic nanoparticles assembled into long chains

Oct 20, 2005

Chains of 1 million magnetic nanoparticles have been assembled and disassembled in a solution of suspended particles in a controlled way, scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) ...

Prussian Blue for information storage

Jan 17, 2007

In the family of Prussian blue, there is a compound that can act as a switch: it is not magnetic at the outset, but it can become magnetized by the effect of light and return to its initial state by heating. Researchers of ...

Pushing the limits of hard disk storage

Oct 07, 2005

Just how much data can we cram onto a hard disk? In a paper appearing online today in Physical Review Letters, EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne) Professor Harald Brune and his colleagues report what they believ ...

Delicate Relation between Single Spins

Mar 01, 2007

Probing the magnetic interaction between single atoms is no longer a dream. Using a scanning tunnelling microscope, the interaction of the spins of two neighbouring cobalt atoms adsorbed at a copper surface ...

Recommended for you

A new multi-bit 'spin' for MRAM storage

10 hours ago

Interest in magnetic random access memory (MRAM) is escalating, thanks to demand for fast, low-cost, nonvolatile, low-consumption, secure memory devices. MRAM, which relies on manipulating the magnetization ...

New study refines biological evolution model

Jul 21, 2014

Models for the evolution of life are now being developed to try and clarify the long term dynamics of an evolving system of species. Specifically, a recent model proposed by Petri Kärenlampi from the University ...

User comments : 3

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

h0dges
5 / 5 (1) Jul 07, 2009
"This way, spontaneous reversal of the magnetic field occurs more often than every 10 years, and magnetic data storage maintains its integrity longer."

Don't they mean 'less often than every 10 years'? Otherwise retention is worse in this new proposal!
ormondotvos
5 / 5 (1) Jul 07, 2009
Don't let these writers do the experiments!
holoman
1 / 5 (1) Jul 08, 2009
They still can't beak the 100 micrometer barrier
for 1 data bit and still requires two flux transverals to change a bit, so what good is it.

super paramagnetic limit will be the downfall
of magnetic data storage technology.