Professor Chan-Ho Yang and his research team from the Department of Physics at KAIST have developed a technology that allows non-magnetic materials to have magnetic properties or, in reverse, to remove magnetic properties from a magnet using an electric field.
Based on this research, it is expected that if magnetic-material-based data storage is developed, applications for high-speed massive data transfer will be possible.
The results of this research, with Ph.D. candidate Byung-Kwon Jang as the first author, were published online in Nature Physics on October 3.
Very small magnets exist inside of any materials. If the direction of the minuscule magnets is dis-aligned, pointing multiple directions, it is non-magnetic. If the direction is aligned in a certain direction, the material holds magnetic property just like any magnet we normally see.
Data storage capacity technology has rapidly advanced to the point where we can easily get a portable hard disk drive (HDD) with terabyte-level storage; however, the increase in storage is inevitably followed by slower data access speed for a storage device. Although HDDs are currently the most widely used data storage devices, their technical applications are limited due to their slow data access speed.
Other methods such as solid-state drives (SSDs), floating gates, and resistive switching have been developed as alternatives. Yet, they leave tracks every time data is written, and this can cause fatigue cumulative damage.
There have been many attempts to compose cells—the smallest data storage space on a storage device—with magnetic materials as that would enable faster data access speeds and remove fatigue cumulative damage. Generally, the techniques tried by researchers were to use induced magnetic fields through current flow. However, magnetic fields are very difficult to shield and can affect a large area. As a result, they alternate the magnetic property of adjacent cells. Because each cell cannot be adjusted one by one, it cannot also be arranged in a certain direction, and therefore, it is hard to change the magnetic state.
Professor Yang and his team adjusted the magnetic state by using magnetoelectric interaction to deal with this issue. Instead of using magnetic fields, magnetoelectric interaction is a method that uses an electric field to adjust the magnetic state. It has the advantage of smaller energy consumption as well.
Professor Yang's team demonstrated that cells facing random directions can be arranged in a certain direction by only inducing an electric field. In addition, the reverse was also proved to be feasible.
Until this research, most cases of previous findings were only feasible at extremely low temperatures or high temperatures, but the technology developed by the research team is practicable at room temperature by manipulating chemical pressure. It allows for a reversible magnetic state, and moreover, is non-volatile. Therefore, the results of this research are expected to provide the basis for developing next-generation information storage device.
Professor Yang said, “The changes in the electric magnetic state will be accompanied by entropy changes” and added, “Our research is expected to open new potential for future applications not only for magnetoelectric devices, but also for thermoelectric effect.”
This research has been worked on jointly with Dr. Si-Yong Choi from the Korea Institute of Materials Science, Prof. Yoon-Hee Jeong from the Pohang University of Science and Technology, Dr. Tae-Yeong Koo from the Pohang Accelerator Laboratory, Dr. Kyung-Tae Ko from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, Dr. Jun-Sik Lee and Dr. Hendrik Ohldag from the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory of the United States, and Prof. Jan Seidel from the University of New South Wales of Australia.
The research was supported by the Mid-Career Researcher Program of the National Research Foundation of Korea, Global Research Network Support Project, Leading Research Center Support Project (Condensed Quantum Coherence Research Center), Global Frontier Project (Hybrid Interface Materials Research Group), and others.
Picture: The concept graphic for the electric-field-induced magnetic phase switching the magnetic direction
(Professor YongKeun Park) Researchers have designed an ultrathin display that can project dynamic, multi-coloured, 3D holographic images, according to a study published in Nature Communications. The system’s critical component is a thin film of titanium filled with tiny holes that precisely correspond with each pixel in a liquid crystal display (LCD) panel. This film acts as a ‘photon sieve’ – each pinhole diffracts light emerging from them widely, resulting in a2019-04-18
(Figure 1. Electrode structure for the precise evaluation of the metal nanoparticles’ electrochemical catalytic characteristics at a high temperature.) A KAIST team presented an ideal electrode design to enhance the performance of high-temperature fuel cells. The new analytical platform with advanced nanoscale patterning method quantitatively revealed the electrochemical value of metal nanoparticles dispersed on the oxide electrode, thus leading to electrode design directions that c2019-03-28
(from left: Dr. Yoonsu Park and Professor Sukbok Chang from the Department of Chemistry) Molecules in nature often have “twin” molecules that look identical. In particular, the twin molecules that look like mirror images to each other are called enantiomers. However, even though they have the same type and number of elements, these twin molecules exhibit completely different properties. Professor Sukbok Chang and Dr. Yoonsu Park from the Department of Chemistry2019-03-05
(Professor Hee-Tak Kim and Hyunwon Chu) A KAIST research team has developed a lithium sulfur battery (LSB) that realizes 92% of the theoretical capacity and an areal capacity of 4mAh/cm2. LSBs are gaining a great deal of attention as an alternative for lithium ion batteries (LIBs) because they have a theoretical energy density up to six to seven times higher than that of LIBs, and can be manufactured in a more cost-effective way. However, LSBs face the obstacle of2019-02-11
A KAIST team presented a noninvasive light-sensitive photoactivatable recombinase suitable for genetic manipulation in vivo. The highly light-sensitive property of photoactivatable Flp recombinase will be ideal for controlling genetic manipulation in deep mouse brain regions by illumination with a noninvasive light-emitting diode. This easy-to-use optogenetic module made by Professor Won Do Heo and his team will provide a side-effect free and expandable genetic manipulation tool for neurosci2019-01-22