Physicists trap, map tiny magnetic vortex
In a research first that could lead to a new generation of hard drives capable of storing thousands of movies per square inch, physicists at Rice University have decoded the three-dimensional structure of a tornado-like magnetic vortex no larger than a red blood cell.
"Understanding the nuances and functions of magnetic vortices is likely going to be a key in creating next-generation magnetic storage devices," said lead researcher Carl Rau, professor of physics and astronomy. "It's widely believed this technology will support storage densities in the range of terabits per square inch, and our group is equally excited about the potential for magnetic processors and for high-speed magnetic RAM."
The findings are available online and due to appear in an upcoming issue of Physical Review Letters.
Rau and postdoctoral researcher Jian Li used a one-of-a-kind scanning ion microscope to first create and then measure ultra-thin circular disks of soft magnetic cobalt.
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