Posted by Megalith 4:08 PM (CST)
Saturday November 26, 2016
The science here is going over my head, but experts have discovered a material that could allow for hard drives that combine the advantages of magnetic storage with the speed of optical writing and reading. The material happens to react quickly even with low-energy sources (e.g., simple red LEDs), which could mean high-capacity drives that require much lesser power.
"We have essentially discovered the first magnetic photoconductor," says Bأ،lint Nأ،frأ،di. This new crystal structure combines the advantages of both ferromagnets, whose magnetic moments are aligned in a well-defined order, and photoconductors, where light illumination generates high density free conduction electrons. The combination of the two properties produced an entirely new phenomenon: the "melting" of magnetization by photo-electrons, which are electrons that are emitted from a material when light hits it. In the new perovskite material, a simple red LEDآ—much weaker than a laser pointerآ—is enough to disrupt, or "melt" the material's magnetic order and generate a high density of travelling electrons, which can be freely and continuously tuned by changing the light's intensity. The timescale for shifting the magnetic in this material is also very fast, virtually needing only quadrillionths of a second.