Scientists have used state-of-the-art 3D printing and microscopy to supply a brand new glimpse of what occurs when taking magnets to three-dimensions on the nanoscale—1000 instances smaller than a human hair.
The worldwide crew led by Cambridge University’s Cavendish Laboratory used a sophisticated 3D printing method they developed to create magnetic double helices—just like the double helix of DNA—which twist round each other, combining curvature, chirality, and robust magnetic field interactions between the helices. Doing so, the scientists found that these magnetic double helices produce nanoscale topological textures within the magnetic area, one thing that had by no means been seen earlier than, opening the door to the following technology of magnetic gadgets. The outcomes are printed in Nature Nanotechnology.
Magnetic gadgets impression many various components of our societies, magnets are used for the technology of power, for knowledge storage and computing. But magnetic computing gadgets are quick approaching their shrinking restrict in two-dimensional techniques. For the following technology of computing, there’s rising curiosity in shifting to a few dimensions, the place not solely can increased densities be achieved with 3D nanowire architectures, however three-dimensional geometries can change the magnetic properties and provide new functionalities.
“There has been a lot of work around a yet-to-be-established technology called racetrack memory, first proposed by Stuart Parkin. The idea is to store digital data in the magnetic domain walls of nanowires to produce information storage devices with high reliability, performance and capacity,” stated Claire Donnelly, the examine’s first creator from Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory, who has not too long ago moved to the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids.
“But until now, this idea has always been very difficult to realize, because we need to be able to make three-dimensional magnetic systems and we also need to understand the effect of going to three dimensions on both the magnetisation and the magnetic field.”
“So, over the last few years our research has focused on developing new methods to visualize three dimensional magnetic structures—think about a CT scan in a hospital, but for magnets. We also developed a 3D printing technique for magnetic materials.”
The 3D measurements have been carried out on the PolLux beamline of the Swiss Light Source on the Paul Scherrer Institute, at present the one beamline in a position to provide smooth X-ray laminography. Using these superior X-ray imaging strategies, the researchers noticed that the 3D DNA construction results in a special texture within the magnetisation in contrast to what’s seen in 2D. Pairs of partitions between magnetic domains (areas the place the magnetisation all factors in the identical course) in neighboring helices are extremely coupled—and consequently, deform. These partitions entice each other and, due to the 3D construction, rotate, “locking” into place and forming sturdy, common bonds, much like the bottom pairs in DNA.
“Not only did we find that the 3D structure leads to interesting topological nanotextures in the magnetisation, where we are relatively used to seeing such textures, but also in the magnetic stray field, which revealed exciting new nanoscale field configurations!” stated Donnelly.
“This new ability to pattern the magnetic field at this length scale allows us to define what forces will be applied to magnetic materials and to understand how far we can go with patterning these magnetic fields. If we can control those magnetic forces on the nanoscale, we get closer to reaching the same degree of control as we have in two dimensions.”
“The result is fascinating—the textures in the DNA-like double helix form strong bonds between the helices, deforming their shape as a result,” defined lead creator Amalio Fernandez-Pacheco, former Cavendish Researcher, now working on the Institute of Nanoscience & Materials of Aragón. “But what is more exciting is that around these bonds form swirls in the magnetic field—topological textures!”
Having gone from two to a few dimensions by way of the magnetisation, now Donnelly and her collaborators from the Paul Scherrer Institute and the Universities of Glasgow, Zaragoza, Oviedo, and Vienna will discover the total potential of going from two to a few dimensions by way of the magnetic area.
“The prospects of this work are manyfold: these strongly bonded textures in the magnetic helices promise highly robust motion and could be a potential carrier of information,” stated Fernandez-Pacheco. “Even more exciting is this new potential to pattern the magnetic field at the nanoscale, this could offer new possibilities for particle trapping, imaging techniques as well as smart materials.”
Claire Donnelly, Complex free-space magnetic area textures induced by three-dimensional magnetic nanostructures, Nature Nanotechnology (2021). DOI: 10.1038/s41565-021-01027-7. www.nature.com/articles/s41565-021-01027-7
University of Cambridge
3D printed nanomagnets unveil a world of patterns within the magnetic area (2021, December 20)
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